Elbow Pain

Elbow pain

Tennis elbow

What is it?

Tennis elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis) is a condition that causes pain and tenderness around the outer elbow joint. It is called tennis elbow because it commonly affects people who play racquet sports such as tennis or badminton.

The condition is also common amongst manual workers, although it can happen to anybody.

Usually, tennis elbow is caused by overusing the tendon that attaches your wrist muscles to your outer elbow joint.

Degeneration of this tendon causes microscopic tears to form, causing pain to occur around the outer elbow joint, usually across the part where the bone sticks out the most.

 

Dealing with tennis elbow

Tennis elbow is usually the result of overusing the tendon that attaches your wrist muscles to your outer elbow.

It is a condition that most people can easily self-manage at home, with the right combination of rest, changes in your activity levels, exercise, stretching and if necessary, painkillers.

You can try an ice pack for 10 minutes wrapped in a thin damp towel provided you have got good skin condition and normal sensation. 

 

Avoiding tennis elbow

As tennis elbow is caused by overusing the tendon that connects your wrist muscles to the outer side of your elbow joint, the key to preventing the condition is to take care when carrying out activities or sports that place pressure on the tendon.

It takes time for your body to get used to a new activity and due to their poorer blood supply, tendons take longer than muscles to adapt. So, it’s important to pace yourself and if in doubt, take advice from a physiotherapist.

Golfer’s elbow

What is it? 

Golfer’s elbow (Medial Epicondylitis) is a condition that causes pain and tenderness around the inner side of the elbow joint.

The condition is called golfer’s elbow because it commonly affects people who play golf.

It also affects people who play sports that involve throwing such as cricket and baseball - as well as climbers or manual workers. However, the condition can affect anybody.

Golfer’s elbow is usually caused by overusing the tendon that attaches the muscles in your forearm to the inner side of your elbow joint. These muscles are the ones that make your fingers curl up in order to grip something.

Degeneration within the tendon results in microscopic tears, causing pain and tenderness around the inner side of your elbow joint - usually where you can feel the bone. The pain is usually triggered by actions that require gripping such as lifting with the palm facing upwards, squeezing or pulling.

 

Dealing with golfer's elbow

Golfer’s elbow is usually the result of overusing the tendon that attaches the forearm muscles to the wrist.

It is a condition that most people can easily self-manage at home with the right combination of rest, changes in your activity levels, exercise, stretching and if necessary, painkillers.

You can try an ice pack for 10 minutes wrapped in a thin damp towel provided you have got good skin condition and normal sensation. 

 

Avoiding golfer's elbow

As golfer’s elbow is usually caused by over-using the tendon that connects your forearm muscles to the inner side of your elbow joint, the key in preventing the condition from developing is to take care when carrying out activities or sports that place pressure on the tendon.

It takes time for your body to get used to a new activity and, due to their poorer blood supply, tendons take longer than muscles to adapt. So, it’s important to pace yourself and, if in doubt, take advice from a physiotherapist. 

Additional Resources

Patient Resources

Click the link for an information leaflet on Tennis Elbow:  Tennis elbow [pdf] 935KB

Self refer into our service

It is important that you apply the advice and guidance provided above for around 8 weeks by which time we would expect you to notice improvement, and in some cases complete recovery. If not, we have a team of trained physios who can help.

Click here to self refer into our service today.

Think you need more urgent or emergency treatment? Click here to see if you need to see someone quicker. 

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