Tendonitis is the painful inflammation or irritation of a tendon. If it affects the outer elbow and forearm, it’s called tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis. If it affects the inner elbow, it’s called golfer’s elbow, or medial epicondylitis.
These injuries are common for golfers and tennis players, but are not limited to these athletes. If you are experiencing forearm or elbow pain, look to Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican hospitals to diagnose your condition. We treat both golfer’s elbow and tennis elbow in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV — find an orthopedist or sports medicine expert near you today.
Symptoms of Tennis Elbow & Golfer’s Elbow
Tennis elbow can cause tenderness, soreness, burning, and pain on the outside of the elbow, down the top of the forearm, and sometimes into the wrist. You may also feel weakness when you try to grip something, such as a hammer, golf club, or even a pen. Your symptoms may be worse after more intense activities.
Golfer’s elbow symptoms include:
- Pain and tenderness on the inside of the elbow, especially with motion
- Mild swelling
- Joint stiffness
- Numbness or tingling below the elbow
- Tightness or weakness in the forearms, making it hard to make a fist or clench your fingers
What Causes Tennis Elbow & Golfer’s Elbow?
The main cause of any type of tendonitis is repetitive motion or overuse injuries.
Tennis elbow is caused by muscle damage from repetitive, forceful motion using the forearm. The risk of tennis elbow is greater if you frequently use your forearm in gripping, swinging, twisting, or pushing motions — such as playing tennis, gardening, and golfing. Repetitive work is also a risk factor, including assembly line work, carpentry, cooking, painting, and plumbing.
Golfer’s elbow is caused by participating in throwing sports or repeatedly using the same arm motions and finger clenching. The repetitive, forceful wrist movements and finger clenching done in golf are main triggers.
Golfer’s Elbow & Tennis Elbow Treatment at Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican Hospitals
Treatments for tennis elbow can include:
- Limiting repetitive arm motions to rest the affected muscles
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen to reduce inflammation and swelling
- Physical therapy exercises
- Forearm strap or wrist brace
- Steroid injections for temporary pain relief
- Surgery, typically only if medical treatments haven’t worked after six to 12 months
Golfer’s elbow usually responds to self-treatment with rest, ice, and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines. Elbow surgery for golfer’s elbow may be necessary to repair severe damage to the tendons and forearm muscles. Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican provides care for both golfer’s elbow and tennis elbow in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV.