The Similarities and Differences Between Tennis Elbow and Golfer’s Elbow

Tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow are health conditions that are similar in some ways and different in other ways. What they both have in common is physical pain. It important to know that neither condition necessarily results from the sport for which it was named. It is equally important to know that both can be successfully treated.
Understanding Tennis Elbow
This problem is marked by pain that radiates from the outer side of the elbow. Medically known as lateral epicondylitis, the condition results from the straining of the forearm. Repetitive wrist motions will gradually wear down the tendons in the arm, leading to what is known as tendinitis. In addition to weakness and numbness in the hand and wrist areas, tennis elbow can produce pain when gripping or turning objects, when shaking hands or when placing the wrist in a straight position.
The Underlying Causes of Tennis Elbow
The condition can affect those who play tennis, squash and racquetball, as well as those who participate in baseball, football and weight training. It can even affect those who engage in such mundane activities as gardening and yardwork. Tennis elbow is also associated with such occupations as carpentry, manufacturing, plumbing and painting.
Understanding Golfer’s Elbow
Medically known as medial epicondylitis, this problem is less common than tennis elbow and is different because the related pain emanates from the inner side of the arm. The condition is characterized by tendon inflammation that is caused by the repetitive flexing of the wrist. The feelings of stiffness and weakness will extend into the wrist and hand. Golfer’s elbow is marked by pain in the affected areas when gripping, lifting or turning objects, when shaking hands and when placing the lower arm in a straight position.
The Underlying Causes of Golfer’s Elbow
In addition to golf, this condition often affects those involved in fencing, tennis, squash, racquetball and weight training. It can also be associated with excessive computer usage. Carpenters, plumbers, assembly line workers, painters and those involved in the food service industry may develop golfer’s elbow.
Treating These Conditions
Both tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow can be treated with medications and physical therapy. Cortisone injections are in some cases needed to reduce inflammation. In the event that less invasive procedures are not successful, surgery may be necessary. Those who suspect that they suffer from either of these conditions should contact an orthopedic surgeon to determine what treatment options are best for them.