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Golfer's /Tennis Elbow

Golfer's and Tennis Elbow

Elbow hurting? Golfer’s or Tennis Elbow could be your issue even if you don’t play tennis and aren’t a golfer. Golfer’s Elbow or Tennis Elbow are also known as medial epicondylitis and lateral epicondylitis respectively, and are two common causes of elbow pain. These two conditions are very similar in symptoms and cause with the main difference being location: golfer’s is on the inside of your elbow and tennis is on the outside of your elbow.

These conditions are often caused by repetitive motions of the wrist and arm like in tennis or golf but are even more common in professions that work with their hands like carpenters, plumbers, and mechanics. Repetitive gripping and twisting motions are two of the most common causes of epicondylitis.  Whether the cause is golf or work, the treatment is usually similar and often starts with rest or modifying the aggravating movements.

Common treatments at Acu-Chiropractic:

  • Chiropractic Adjustments: This treatment may be used to address biomechanical changes that are increasing stress at the elbow.
  • Graston Technique: Involves using specialized instruments to mobilize affected soft tissue to improve recovery and reduce pain and swelling (also called instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization-IASTM).
  • Myofascial Release/Trigger Point Therapy: Work on the muscles at the elbow and the rest of the arm to reduce muscle spasms, lengthen tight muscles, and improve function.
  • Rehab Exercises: Specific exercises may be used in the office or at home to address muscle imbalances, improve strength and endurance, or promote proper tissue healing. 
  • Specific Stretches: Stretches used to target the muscles at the elbow or surrounding tissue to regain normal function.
  • Rocktape (kinesio tape):  Tape may be used to give some support and feedback to the affected muscles. Tape may also be used to reduce inflammation in the area.
  • Electric Muscle stimulation: A gentle current through the affected tissue and surrounding muscles may be used to relax the muscles and reduce pain in order to get the area ready for treatment.
  • Bracing: A specific brace may be used to take the pressure off of the inflamed area or compress the tissue based on the patient’s specific need.

Source/More Information:

Is eccentric exercise an effective treatment for lateral epicondylitis? A systematic review.  Cullinane FL, Boocock MG, Trevelyan FC. Clin Rehabil. 2014 Jan;28(1):3-19. doi: 10.1177/0269215513491974. Epub 2013 Jul 23. Review. PMID: 23881334

Sevier TL, Stegink-Jansen CW. Astym treatment vs. eccentric exercise for lateral elbow tendinopathy: a randomized controlled clinical trial. Ploughman M, ed. PeerJ. 2015;3:e967. doi:10.7717/peerj.967.