With the weather getting warmer, and people beginning to return to summer-time activities, overuse injuries tend to appear. Repetitive strains are a common result of many recreational activities, two of the most popular being Tennis Elbow and Golfer’s Elbow. However, many people confuse these two painful disorders.
Golfer’s Elbow, also known as Medial Epicondylitis, affects the forearm muscles that attach from the wrist to the “funny bone” area of the elbow, near the inner part of the elbow. This is where you may feel pain or tenderness. The discomfort and irritation is caused by activities that involve repetitive wrist flexion (bending your hand down) and twisting the palm downwards. The pain from golfer's elbow is due to tendonitis or inflammation on the tendon on this inside part of the elbow. The pain can be nagging and become severe.
Golfer’s elbow is not limited to those who play golf. It can be found amongst players of many activities, such as: racquet sports, throwing sports, weight training, and even those in occupations of heavy labour.
Tennis Elbow, also known as Lateral Epicondylitis, affects the muscles and tendons of your forearm, which extend to your wrist and fingers. You may feel pain and tenderness on the outer part of your elbow. The cause is repeated contraction of the forearm muscles that you use to straighten and raise your hand and wrist. Similar to Golfer’s elbow, it may develop gradually, with mild pain, which can get worse over time. It is not exclusive to tennis either but can be a result of repetitive activities such as: certain racquet sports, manual labour, using tools in turning motions, and even knitters/crocheters.
Essentially, both conditions can be caused by a number of activities, whether you play golf, tennis, or not.