Are you a tennis or golf player with excruciating elbow pain? Have you done anything to manage your pain? No worries! In today’s blog, we will talk about tennis vs. golfer’s elbow and how to manage them with some simple therapy exercises.
What is the Difference Between Tennis vs. Golfer’s Elbow?
Both tennis and golfer’s elbow are inflammation at the elbow based at the two bony bumps called “epicondyles.” The medical term for these two conditions is “lateral epicondylitis” (tennis elbow) and “medial epicondylitis” (golfer’s elbow). They both present with pain, weakness in grip strength and sometimes even numbness and tingling. The difference between tennis vs. golfer’s elbow is that condyle is presenting with pain and the actions of the forearm that create the pain. But conditions are diagnosed by clinical presentation and an orthopedic examination of the elbow that will help confirm a diagnosis. Tennis elbow is when pain is produced by the muscles of the wrist and forearm that allow for extension and attach to the lateral epicondyle of the elbow. Even though it is called “tennis elbow,” that is not the only cause of the condition. Any repetitive arm movements from gripping, lifting, or even jobs such as typing on a computer all day, carpentry, or raking leaves can cause this condition. Therefore, golfer’s elbow is when pain is produced by the muscles of the wrist and forearm that allow for flexion and attach to the medial epicondyle. Just like tennis elbow, “golfer’s elbow is not only caused from golfing. It is also caused from repetitive motions of the forearm specifically in flexion.
How Do You Manage Epicondylitis?
A lot of people will result to non-inflammatory or steroid injections to help with the pain, but as usual, those are not typically the best solutions as they are numbing the pain and not truly solving the issue. Unfortunately, this is the one circumstance that we will say reduce or eliminate what is causing your pain until the inflammation goes away. Remember, repetitive motions are what cause, these two conditions. A few weeks or rest will help reduce inflammation and eliminate pain. Chiropractors do more than just spinal manipulation. Chiropractors are also trained to perform physical therapy strengthening and stretching exercise. Probably the best thing to do is to stretch the muscles as the muscles that are affected are on overload. Stretching the forearm and wrist in the direction needed will help reduce pain significantly. Another great exercise to perform is take a #32 rubber band and wrap it around your fingers and thumb for resistance and create a claw hand to help fatigue the muscles. Ice and heat combo are another great home therapy to use. Ice will help with inflammation, but heat is also a great supplement because it will help promote blood flow back into the area, which is essential. Lastly, get your elbow and neck adjusted. Did you see that coming? As we reiterated time and time again, the nervous system is all connected in one way or another. Getting the neck and elbow adjusted will remove any nerve interference allowing the body to naturally heal itself!
At Wilkins Spinal Care, we provide many different therapy exercises as well as spinal manipulation that will help resolve your elbow pain and get you doing your daily activities in no time! Contact us today if you have any questions!