Tennis/ Golfers Elbow

Tennis/ Golfers Elbow

Tennis elbow is an inflammatory condition characterised by moderate to acute pain on the outer side (lateral side) of the elbow which is associated with the common extensor tendon.

This injury occurs with excessive use of the wrist extensors and is usually triggered by activities such as tennis, badminton, squash, weightlifting, along with occupational and leisure activities such as typing, sewing, knitting, brick layering, gardening etc.

Clinical Presentation:

This condition usually presents with microscopic tears at the common extensor tendon or where the tendon attaches to the bone causing inflammation. This inflammation excretes a form of exudate known as fibrin which converts to fibrosis (scar tissue). Furthermore, focal thickening and trigger points occur at the local muscles around the tendon. The resultant outcome becomes a perpetuating cycle where the scar tissue at the tendon is stretched beyond its capacity and tears again. This cycle can repeat itself many times over as a low grade inflammatory long -term process.

An additional contributing factor can originate from nerve root compression at the C5, 6 segments of the cervical vertebrae. This can compromise nerve supply (Causing Neuropathy) muscle shortening and hypersensitivity to the extensor group of the forearm.

Objective Assessment tests can reveal weakness and pain of these extensor muscles when resistance is applied. Functional tasks such as lifting a kettle, carrying shopping bags etc.

This condition is successfully treated with modalities such as ice, ultrasound, acupuncture at the neck and the arm, deep friction massage at the tendon structure, a graduated strengthening program along with postural advice.

Golfer’s Elbow

This is a condition characterised by pain and acute tenderness on the medial side of the elbow. This affects the common flexor tendon near or on its bony attachment.
The principals of treatment are the same as tennis elbow.

For further information please contact us.