These conditions cause pain at the points at which the tendon attaches to the bone around the elbow. Tennis elbow causes pain on the outer side of the elbow, where the extensor muscles on the outer side of the forearm are attached.
These muscles bend the wrist back and straighten the fingers. Golfer’s elbow is much less common and causes pain on the inner side of the elbow, at the attachment of the flexor muscles which bend the wrist forwards and flex the fingers.
Both conditions were first described in sportsmen but most sufferers develop them as a result of everyday activities, such as repeated heavy lifting, pushing and pulling. Sometimes a single episode of awkward lifting, such as lifting a heavy case down from an overhead locker, may be the trigger. The lifting need not be heavy: office workers who repeatedly pull files out of tight, over-stuffed cabinets are also at risk.
Treatment to Elbow Pain
Anti-inflammatory injection into the painful area is usually helpful. Physiotherapy may also be beneficial.
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What is Tennis Elbow or Medial Epicondylitis?
Tennis elbow is characterized by soreness or pain on the outside of the upper arm near the elbow. There may be a partial tear of the tendon fibers which joins the muscle to bone near their point of origin on the outside of the elbow.
How is Tennis Elbow or Medial Epicondylitis Diagnosed?
The diagnosis is made based on signs and symptoms given that x-rays usually appears normal. There will often be pain or tenderness when the tendon is gently pressed near where it attaches to the upper arm bone, over the outside of the elbow.
What are the Causes?
This injury is due to repeated motions of the wrist or forearm. The injury is typically associated with tennis playing, hence the name “tennis elbow.” However, any activity that involves repetitive twisting of the wrist for example, using a screwdriver can lead to this condition.
What are the Treatments?
Treatments include heat therapy, local injection of cortisone and numbing medication, physical therapy and shockwave therapy to break up scar tissue which promotes healing and increases blood flow to the afflicted area.