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Tennis Or Golfers Elbow

Tennis & Golfers Elbow

 

Over the summer we see many tennis and golf related injuries because people have taken too enthusiastically to the sport.

The risk of injury in any type of sport increases with age because both the muscle strength and the elasticity of the ligaments decrease past the age of around thirty.

Obviously if you are very fit, you warm up, you train appropriately throughout the year and you are careful not to continue exercising if you are ill or are injured, you are less likely to need our help.

Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis) is one of the most common injuries seen from tennis, together with back and shoulder injuries.

The term tennis elbow is used to describe pain found on the outer part of the elbow and the upper part of the forearm. It is due to inflammation of the tendon and bony protuberance at the outer part of the elbow.

Golfer’s Elbow (Medial Epicondylitis) is similar to its counterpart, tennis elbow. The primary differences between these conditions are the location of the pain and the activity that leads to injury. The pain of golfer’s elbow is usually at the elbow joint on the inside of the arm; a shooting sensation down the forearm is also common while gripping objects.

Both Tennis elbow and Golfers elbow are in fact an overuse injury.

Repetitive, forceful movements at the wrist can cause shortening of the muscles. This causes the attachment of these muscles at the outer or inner part of the elbow to be placed under considerable tension and a sudden movement at the wrist may cause a tear in the muscle and tendon.

The repetitive action of gripping, twisting and moving the wrist can cause inflammation of the tendon that attaches to the muscles of the forearm which straighten the fingers and the wrist.

What are the symptoms?

  • Pain and/or tenderness over the outside and of the elbow, which may travel up or down the arm.
  • Wrist weakness.
  • Tenderness over the outside of the elbow.

What are the causes of tennis elbow and golfers elbow?

Obviously playing either sport may be one of the causes e.g. if you have a faulty grip, but other racquet sports can also cause the same injury. You may be surprised to hear that D.I.Y and gardening can also cause this injury (e.g. the use of a screw driver or the use of garden clippers).

Professionals such as electricians and carpenters are also prone to this injury.

Golfers elbow and tennis elbow are very disabling condition for some people. Some suffers find it difficult to perform simple tasks like writing, spreading butter on a sandwich or holding a cup of tea.

Our Approach?

Jason our Osteopath gets excellent results in treating both Golfers elbow and Tennis elbow.

Initially it is important to reduce the inflammation and to rest the elbow as much as possible. The use of ice is very effective in the first two or three days but sometimes has to be used for a longer period. Sometimes an elbow brace may be needed (not an elbow strap), particularly if the problem is persistent.

Obviously any faulty techniques in the game must be corrected. Your practitioner will also examine any area relating to the function of the affected elbow and muscles of the forearm, such as the wrist, shoulder and more importantly the neck.

The second part of the treatment involves increasing the blood circulation to the tissues. This can be done by alternating hot and cold hydrotherapy, massage, dry needling and the use of ultrasound. When the pain has subsided Kirsty our Sports therapist will work with you to create a programme of strengthening and stretching exercises for your elbow and the affected muscles, taking care that the exercises are done slowly and carefully so as not to make the condition reoccur.

Most injuries occur either at the beginning or the end of the game. Often at the beginning of the game this is because proper warm up techniques haven’t been used, whilst towards the end of the game injuries may occur when people are more fatigued.

Did You Know?

Hitting a tennis ball travelling at 30 miles per hour is equivalent to lifting 55lbs!

If you think that you or someone you know may be suffering from Tennis elbow or Golfers elbow or any other injury relating to either sport please mention it to your practitioner now before the problem becomes more severe.

For more information and guidance don’t hesitate to call us on 0191 565 8886.

The information provided is for general guidance only and must not be used for diagnosis or treatment of a health problem. This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice.

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