Golf Elbow or Tennis Elbow is a type of muscle injury that happens due to overuse of the tendon and is commonly seen among tennis and golf players. However, someone who has never played a round of golf, or a set of tennis may also experience this condition.
Causes and Risk Factors: Repetitive movement of the wrist and fingers stresses the tissues and causes microscopic tears that manifest in the form of pain or restricted movement. Anyone who is involved in an activity, sport, or profession that requires constant wrist movement is at risk of this injury. In addition to playing golf or tennis, elbow tendon injury can occur in:
- People who play racquet sports (badminton, squash, racquet ball), fencing, baseball, football and other sports that involve throwing or weight lifting.
- Professions, such as mechanics, plumbers, carpenters, painters, gardeners, assembly line workers, bakers, knitters, and more.
Symptoms: If you have tennis elbow, you will feel the pain, swelling or inflammation on the outside of your elbow. This includes:
- Pain while gripping or lifting any objects, or opening doors
- Soreness or stiffness in the hand, with difficulty in raising or straightening your wrist
- Tenderness on the outside of your elbow’s bony knob (commonly called the funny bone)
In the case of golfer’s elbow, you will experience the pain from the inside, and this may spread to your wrist or forearm, making it difficult to perform activities that require gripping, swinging or throwing an object.
Cure and Prevention: Resting the hand or wrist is one of the best ways to avoid aggravating the condition. For pain relief:
- Apply a heat pack or ice pack applied several times a day for 5 to 10 minutes at a time.
- Use oral or gel-based, non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory medication.
- Get a few sessions of physical therapy.
Once the swelling and inflammation reduce, try to prevent recurrence of the tennis or golf elbow:
- Do muscle strengthening exercises for the affected area.
- Check and correct your form or technique, especially if the condition is a result of a specific sport or physical activity.
At Medical Rehabilitation Centers of Pennsylvania (MRCP), our multi-dimensional diagnostics and customized physical therapy treatments provide relief from a range of painful conditions, including golf elbow or tennis elbow. We have been serving the needs of clients in and around Philadelphia and the Greater Philadelphia area for several decades.