Tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow

What is “Tennis Elbow” Microsoft office 2016 free download? Does it only affect tennis players? And “Golfers Elbow” – are they the same?

Anyone can suffer from tennis or golfer’s elbow – both painful conditions are caused by strain and overuse of the arm, forearm and hand muscles. It usually affects your dominant arm, and the typical symptoms are:

  • pain and a burning sensation at the elbow
  • weakening of the hand grip
  • morning stiffness

The pain usually starts slowly and is worse when shaking hands, or holding something tightly, like a toothbrush or cutlery. You may only notice it when you twist  your forearm to open the door handle.

 What causes this strain?

The tendons which attach the forearm muscles to your elbow become inflamed from repetitive overuse.

In tennis elbow, the pain is felt on the outside of your elbow, as the tendon attaches to the bony lump on the outside of the elbow.

Golfer’s elbow causes pain at the back part of your elbow, as the tendon attaches to the bony lump on the inside of the elbow.

Who gets this strain?

Up to 50% of tennis players and golfers suffer from these conditions at some stage, but it is also commonly seen in jobs like painting, carpentry, and butchery. Middle aged men are most commonly affected. Your doctor will diagnose based on the history of the pain, and examination of your arm. Blood test and X-rays are usually not needed.

How to treat elbow strain

Treatment of this kind of strain injury involves:

  • rest and icing the area
  • over the counter pain relief
  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication
  • cortisone injections
  • physiotherapy
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The anti-inflammatory medication can be applied as a topical gel or taken as in tablet form. Physiotherapy can be very beneficial, as can a brace to stabilise the area. It is important to stop the activity that causes the overuse of the forearm.  If necessary your doctor can inject cortisone into the area, and this usually brings relief.  In general 95% of patients recover, but if left untreated it can lead to chronic pain, with 5% needing surgery.

By Dr. Ingrid de Beer