Tennis and Golfer's Elbow
Tennis elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis, and golfer's elbow, also known as medial epicondylitis, are both conditions that come from a degeneration of the tendon that attaches the muscles of the forearm to the elbow. This can often follow a change in activity or a period of increased repetitive strain on the arms. It does not only affect tennis players or golfers! It can take several months for this problem to resolve and it will often need some form of treatment.
Signs and symptoms
People suffering from golfer's elbow often suffer with pain on the inside the elbow which can also spread down the forearm.
Those suffering from tennis elbow present with pain on the outside of the elbow which spreads down to the forearm.
Pain is often provoked by gripping activities, carrying, typing and some sports. This pain will often build up over a period of time and can become so severe that it can be unbearable to even have clothes resting against the painful area.
How physiotherapy can help
Physiotherapy can help to improve the flexibility and strength of the muscle in the forearm. Your therapist will advise you on activities to avoid and exercises that will help to improve the symptoms. Treatment could also involve massage, joint and soft tissue mobilisations, electrotherapies and acupuncture. If appropriate your physio may fit you with a brace to help ‘off-load’ the tendons in your elbow alleviating the discomfort.
Top tips to follow after sustaining an injury
If you can identify which activities aggravate your pain then it is advisable to try and avoid these initially. You will need to rest your arm and may feel that icing the painful area can be helpful. Some people find anti-inflammatory medication can help with the pain, but this may not be the case. If you feel these are beneficial then make sure you follow advice from your pharmacist. You can also buy braces that can often help with the pain; these are available at most chemists or online.