Lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow) is an overuse injury to the outside of the elbow. It is the inflammation of the common wrist extensor tendon at its attachment to the outer elbow (lateral epicondyle).
Tennis Elbow is a common condition that is present in 40% of tennis players and 15% of people working in repetitive manual trades. Sufferers are generally aged between 35-50 years however it can occur at any age.
Pain with gripping tasks or resisted finger/wrist extension
Pain can be reproduced when the wrist extensor muscles are stretched
Tenderness over the bony epicondyles
Possible trigger points in the forearm muscles
Golfer’s elbow is the result of repeated repetitive strong grip while swinging a golf club or racket or by using the wrist too much during these type of motions. The condition is an overuse injury of the wrist flexor tendons that attach at the inner elbow area. Common causes include:
Unaccustomed hand use
Excessive gripping activities
Poor technique (eg Golf swing) – too much wrist action, jerky strokes, poor ball contact
Poor forearm muscle strength
Tight forearm muscles
Improper equipment – incorrect grip size, strings too tight or racquets/tools that are too heavy or unbalanced
Common Management Techniques
Massage and releases
Heat or ice
Autologous blood injections
Daily ice massage will help—fill a paper cup with water and freeze. Peel the top of the cup away to expose the ice and rub over the affected area in a circular motion for 5–7 minutes.
Modification of the activity that caused the problem and rest will help.
Most cases of golfer’s elbow can be self-managed with simple things such as modification of activities, simple exercises and if necessary, painkillers. In a small number of cases injections may be done around the tendon insertion and occasionally in unmanageable cases, surgery may be an option.