Tendonitis is a very common cause of elbow pain. There are basically two forms of elbow tendonitis.
If the pain is on the outside of your elbow, it is known as “tennis elbow”. “Golfer’s elbow” occurs when the pain is on the inside of the elbow. Both conditions are similar in nature,
but are caused by different wrist and elbow activities.
Tennis Elbow is caused by stress and micro trauma (tearing) and inflammation to the muscles and tendons of your wrist extensors. These are the muscles
that bend your wrist back and they attach to the outside of your elbow. Activities which can aggravate this condition are: a weak tennis backhand, prolonged hammering, working at a
computer keyboard, holding the wrist back and using the fingers to perform small movements like spraying a hairspray bottle or using the telephone, and gripping with your palm down and carrying objects.
Golfer’s Elbow is caused by stress and micro trauma (tearing) and inflammation to the muscles and tendons of your wrist flexors.
These are the muscles that bend your wrist toward your forearm and are attached to the inside of your elbow. Activities which can aggravate this condition can be: striking the ball during your
golf swing (the elbow of the dominant, or shooting side will feel the stress), and activities which involve gripping with the fingers or gripping and turning the wrist, like using a wrench or carrying groceries.
- When performing repetitive activities such as typing, hammering, carrying, gripping, etc., make sure your wrist is well supported in a neutral position (the midway point between flexion and extension). This can be accomplished by consciously maintaining this position, or with the help of various external supports or braces.
- If you do a job or like to play a sport that might make you prone to developing either of these conditions, be sure to keep the muscles of your forearm strong, particularly your wrist extensor muscles. You can do wrist curls and wrist extension exercises with small weights.
- Make sure our wrist flexor and extensor muscles are well stretched out all the time, and adequately warmed-up before playing your sport or doing any strenuous activity.
- Make sure your tennis racquet, golf club, or tools have proper grips and handle sizes.
- If you do develop symptoms of either of these conditions, be sure to modify the aggravating activity immediately.
- Seek the advice of a physiotherapist who will help you identify the cause, help to reduce the inflammation, and show you stretching and strengthening exercises that will prevent the condition from becoming chronic.
- Furthermore, a physiotherapist will advise you if bracing is necessary, and if so, the type of brace that would be suitable for you. There are many braces available, so it is important to purchase the appropriate one for you and your condition to ensure the most effective relief of your symptoms.