What is Tennis Elbow / Golfer’s Elbow?

Epicondylitisdigram of the epicondyle - tennis elbow, golfer's elbow. epicondylitis

Epicondylitis, also known as Tennis Elbow or Golfer’s Elbow, affects the muscles surrounding the elbow, the tendons and the epicondyle that the tendon is attached to. It is the inflammation of the bony areas of the elbows (Epicondyles). In the case of tennis elbow, the pain is located on the outside of the elbow (Lateral Epicondyle) and in golfer’s elbow the area affected is on the inside (Medial Epicondyle).

Risk factors for tennis elbow / golfer’s elbow include the following:-

  • Age (more common in adults between the ages of 20 – 40)
  • Occupation ( usually found in occupations that require strenuous, repeated, forearm movement
  • Sport participation that requires twisting of the forearm (tennis, golf, squash, etc.)
  • Fitness (people with poor muscle tone)

Tennis Elbow / Golfer’s Elbow is caused by a partial tearing of the tendon an/or the attachment of the tendon to the bone. This usually occurs through: –

  • Chronic, repeated, stresses on the tendons and attachments.
  • Sudden strain (trauma) to the forearm.

What Are the Symptoms of Epicondylitis?

  • Pain and tenderness over the elbow.
  • Weakened grip.
  • Pain when twisting the hand and/or forearm (ie. Tennis, using a screwdriver, etc.)

While the symptoms of tennis elbow / golfer’s elbow can be debilitating, they are not life threatening. Symptoms may vary, depending on the level of physical activity, time of day, and the weather. Prevention Before playing sports (tennis, etc.) ensure that you are warmed up and that you are fit. Exercise the forearms to condition them gradually.