What is Tennis Elbow and Golfer’s Elbow?
Unlike the names, Tennis elbow and Golfer’s elbow are not conditions exclusive to people who plays tennis and golf only. It is the repetitive use of one’s wrist and arms and can affect anyone. Lateral epicondylitis, or Tennis elbow, is a condition affecting the tendons that attach to the outside of the elbow.
DTAP provides diagnosis, treatment and managing Joint Pain related problems.
Anatomy & Cause
Three bones – two forearm bones (radius and ulna) and the upper arm bone (humerus) – make up the elbow joint. The point at which the forearm muscles and tendons attach is named the epicondyles. The lateral (outer) and medial (inner) epicondyles is sighted as the bony prominences at either side of the base of the humerus.
Symptoms of Tennis Elbow & Golfer’s Elbow
Inflammation and pain resulting from repeated exertion of the wrist and forearm muscles and hands puts extra stress on these tendons and can cause a series of micro-tears.
- Rigid elbow
- Frail hands and wrists
- The main sign for Golfer’s elbow is pain on the inner elbow and outer elbow in the case of Tennis elbow. Such pain is developed gradually with more forearm activity such as gripping an item or shaking hands.
Risk Factors of Tennis Elbow & Golfer’s Elbow
The following group have a higher likelihood of being diagnosed with Tennis / Golfer’s elbow:
- Age group between 30 – 50
- Sustained injury to the inner or outer elbows
- Exertive and repeated motion of the forearms and wrists in hobbies or occupations. For example rock climbers, carpenters and racquet sports athletes.
Diagnosis of Tennis Elbow & Golfer’s Elbow
A thorough history and physical examination of the pain inflicted elbow would be sufficient for the doctor to diagnose whether the condition is Tennis/Golfer’s elbow or not. There is no requirement for X-rays or investigations.
Treatment for Tennis Elbow & Golfer’s Elbow
Based on the severity of the Tennis/Golfer’s elbow, the treatment can be:
- Do not engage in the causative activity for a few weeks
- Mild exercises to strengthen and stretch the forearm muscles
- Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT)
- Reducing stress on the muscles and tendons by using a forearm strap or brace
- Oral medications such as paracetamol and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- A temporary solution of lasting not more than 3 months is the use of Corticosteroid (H&L) injection. The injection helps to reduce the inflammation into and around the affected area.
- Surgery is the last resort. Surgery removes damaged tissue via either the open or arthroscopic (keyhole) surgery.
Dr. Tan & Partners @Siglap
Joint Pain, Men’s Health & Sexual Health Clinic
Dr. Edwin Ong is currently practising in Men’s Health & Sexual Clinic @Siglap
914 East Coast Road
#01-04 The Domain,
+65 6962 2144
Monday & Friday: 9.00 am – 8.00 pm
Tuesday & Thursday: 10.00 am – 8.00 pm
Wednesday: 10.00 am – 6.00 pm
Saturday: 9.00 am – 2.00 pm
Closed on Sunday & Public Holidays