Have you been experiencing chronic pain when engaging in activities that involve the elbow and forearm? You might be suffering from tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow. Both of these conditions are often confused with one another. This might be because both injuries are caused by the overuse of the elbow joint. They usually happen when repetitive movements of the arm are made due to sports, occupational requirements, or hobbies. However, tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow are two distinct conditions.
What is Tennis Elbow?
Tennis elbow is also known as lateral epicondylitis. It is a common overuse injury due to repetitive motions that involve the forehand and backhand. Tennis elbow causes inflammation, pain, and other symptoms on the outside the elbow and forearm area. Pain is the first sign of tennis elbow, and it usually radiates from outside of the elbow to the wrist and forearm. Symptoms are often felt when doing day-to-day tasks, such as lifting and grasping things. Patients also report feeling a tingling sensation or numbness in the elbow.
A common misconception is that athletes are the only ones who develop this condition. The truth is, tennis elbow can develop in anyone. For example, plumbers, painters, and carpenters are prone to this condition. Cutting woods and raking can also aggravate the condition, especially because the motions involved are repetitive and forceful.
What is Golfer’s Elbow?
Golfer’s elbow is also known as medial epicondylitis. It is an injury that causes inflammation, pain, and other symptoms in the inner side of the elbow and forearm. Golder’s elbow develops when you use the arm to perform movements that require twisting or flexing of the wrist. The most common symptoms of golfer’s elbow are pain when you twist the forearm or when you make a fist. It can also cause difficulty when lifting an object.
Similar to tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow is not unique to golfers only. People who have hobbies or occupational requirements that require similar movements are also susceptible. Examples include carpenters, painters, weightlifters, gardeners, and construction workers.
While tennis and golfer’s elbow are distinct conditions, their treatment is very similar. Both conditions are often treated with rest. Doctors often recommend you take it easy and refrain from repetitive movements when one of these conditions develops. It is also wise to take frequent breaks when performing tasks that exasperate the conditions.
For situations where pain symptoms are significant, you can use ice therapy and take anti-inflammatory pain relievers to get relief. Most patients see an improvement in symptoms after several weeks of rest. If the condition worsens or becomes chronic due to years of having the injury, your doctor may recommend cortisone injections and physical therapy.
Orthopedic Care in Austin, Texas
If you suspect you may have tennis or golfer’s elbow or another orthopedic condition that is effecting the function of your body, visit an orthopedic physician today. The team at All-Star Orthopedics of Austin delivers high-quality care to patients with all types of orthopedic conditions.
We would love to help you find relief. Give us a call at (512) 346 4933 and schedule an appointment today! You can also request an appointment online.