Pain when moving your elbow. Difficulty grasping objects. Inflammation or swelling around the elbow. If you’re dealing with any of these symptoms, you might not be sure what’s causing them.
The reality is that there are two conditions that could be the culprit. One is called tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, and the other is golfer’s elbow, or medial epicondylitis. Physical therapists can help you learn more about these two elbow conditions. They can also offer effective treatment options for golfer’s elbow and tennis elbow.
What is golfer’s elbow?
Golfer’s elbow is an overuse injury that involves that medial epicondyle tendon in your elbow. Medial epicondylitis is characterized by symptoms like:
- Pain on the inside of the elbow
- Inflammation and tenderness on the inside of the elbow
- Difficulty closing your fingers to grip objects
This condition is most common in people over 40. It also tends to be more common in smokers and people who spend two hours or more per day doing repetitive elbow movements.
What is tennis elbow?
Also called lateral epicondylitis, tennis elbow is the more common of these two conditions. It can cause people to experience symptoms like:
- Pain on the outside of the elbow
- Difficulty opening the fingers
- Tenderness or swelling on the outside of the elbow
In spite of its name, it’s estimated that only about 5% of people who develop lateral epicondylitis are tennis players. The reality is that just about anyone can develop tennis elbow. You’re especially likely to develop it if you play sports like football or baseball that require repetitive elbow movements. Additionally, lateral epicondylitis can develop from repetitive elbow movements performed at work, such as swinging a hammer.
How can physical therapists treat golfer’s elbow and tennis elbow?
Our physical therapists offer effective treatment for both golfer’s elbow and tennis elbow. Their first step will be to evaluate your ability to move your elbow. You may also be asked about your past medical history and common daily activities during this evaluation.
After your evaluation, your physical therapist will create an individualized therapy plan to treat your elbow symptoms. This plan could include therapy techniques like:
- Manual therapy
- Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM)
- Neuromuscular reeducation
- Therapeutic exercises
- Myofascial release
- At-home care
- Virtual therapy
Armor Physical Therapy offers top-notch treatment for elbow injuries
Dealing with golfer’s elbow, tennis elbow or another elbow injury? Our Armor Physical Therapy team can help you find effective treatment for your injury. We always perform a thorough physical evaluation to learn about your injury and its underlying causes. In addition, our physical therapists are adept at building personalized therapy plans designed to reduce elbow pain and prevent future elbow injuries.
Take the next step to start getting our help with your elbow condition. Contact us today for more information about our helpful therapy services or to schedule an initial appointment.