Tennis and Golfer's Elbow

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The Sports Injury Clinic

Ellie Russo

January 24, 2012

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The most common type of elbow pain is known as, 'Tennis Elbow' occurring on the outside of the elbow where the tendons that assist with grip strength attach to the bone. 'Golfers Elbow' is a less common but similar injury that occurs on the inside of the elbow. Overuse of the elbow joint causes low grade tendon damage, or tendinopathy and can include small tears to form in the soft tissue of the tendon, particularly where the tendon anchors to bone. These injuries can also occur as a result of a variety of sports and occupations.

If the pain occurs over a long period of time, they can cause pain and also reduced movement of the elbow joint. Depending on the location and severity of the injury, full recovery can take months and requires the correct diagnosis and a structured physiotherapy plan. Investigations can now be carried out to view the tendon and determine if any medical intervention is needed. We tend to not use cortisone for these injuries as the tendon does not actually have inflammation cells inside of it despite previous theories. Modern day management of tendons is very specific.

If you have pain with daily tasks our Physiotherapists can show you different ways to use your elbow and arm that is correct and take the load out of the tendon your are damaging without realizing! If your sport is contributing to your elbow pain then this can also be assessed and recommendations to improve technique and exercises to strengthen may help.

Symptoms

Some of the symptoms of elbow pain include:

  • Pain in the elbow joint, especially when straightening the arm
  • Dull ache when at rest
  • Pain when making a fist or gripping and twisting
  • Soreness around the affected elbow bump
  • Weakness in your grip
  • Difficulties and pain when trying to grasp objects, especially with the arm stretched out.

A range of causes

Some of the many conditions and events that may contribute to elbow injuries
include:

  • Lack of strength or flexibility in the forearm muscles
  • Lack of strength in the shoulder muscles
  • Static use of elbow/wrist at the computer. Outstretched arm using the mouse.
  • Instability of the elbow joint
  • Poor technique during sporting activities (especially tennis and golf) that puts too much strain on the elbow joint . Our Tennis Physios can help sort out your technique or give you some strength work to do to recover more rapidly
  • Inappropriate sporting equipment, such as using a heavy tennis racquet or having the wrong sized grip on a tennis racquet or golf club
  • Repetitive movements of the hands and arms, such as working on an assembly line
  • Continuously making the muscles and joint take heavy loads.

If you need to see a Physiotherapist for an elbow injury, call us on 9783 9990 or book online.

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