Tennis Elbow Vs. Golfer’s Elbow – Do You Know the Difference?

Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis), is a painful condition of the elbow caused by overuse or repetitive wrist extension activities. Wrist extension activities include: excessive typing, performing tennis backhand motion, and performing household chores such as dusting or window washing.  True tennis elbow is acute inflammation of the wrist extensor muscle tendon junction as it attaches to the bone. The tendon becomes damage from overuse and leads to pain with active wrist and elbow movements. This pathology can turn into a chronic condition known as Lateral Epicondylosis which degeneration of the tendon without the natural inflammatory process.  This can lead to thickening and scarring of the tendon causing it to break down.

Golfer’s Elbow (Medial Epicondylitis), is a painful condition of the elbow caused by repetitive wrist flexion activities or gripping activities.  Similar to Tennis Elbow, there is localized acute inflammation of the common wrist flexor tendon as it attaches to medial epicondyle of the elbow. Activities of daily living that can increase symptoms are: shaking hands, turning a doorknob, or lifting weights.

Both conditions can get worse without proper treatment or if ignored can turn into a chronic pathology. Physical therapy is proven to be able to successfully treat these two pathologies and allow for return to normal activities much quicker and prevent them from returning.

Stay tuned for our video showing various stretches and exercises to prevent and heal tennis and golfer’s elbow.