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Tennis and Golfer’s Elbow

#CountryClubProblems = Not as Posh as They Sound

An injury due to playing too much tennis or too much golf doesn’t exactly sound like a problem to me. Too much time playing at the country club? That sounds as much like a problem as being too tan from too much surf in Hawaii, or having too many people offer up free babysitting. Luxury problems, right?
Tennis Elbow and Golfer’s Elbow are two very common overuse injuries of the elbow. Contrary to their namesake, the two injuries can occur in someone who has never picked up a golf club or racket in their life! Lateral and medial epicondylitis are the medical terms for Tennis Elbow (T-Bow), and Golfer’s Elbow (G-Bow). Your ‘bows have two epicondyles, and when the tendons that attach the arm and wrist muscles to either the inner (medial) or outer (lateral) side of the elbow become overused, irritated, and inflamed, epicondylitis occurs. FYI: T-Bow and G-Bow are my terms, but feel free to use them.In college, one of my professors offered extra credit to anyone who stood in anatomical position outside the gym for 10 minutes. In case you’re wondering, anatomical position looks like this:

It was awkward, but there is a point to this story. If you’re standing in anatomical position with your palms facing forward, the side of your elbow that is closest to your body is the medial side. If that is where your pain is, think ‘G-Bow’. However, G-Bow pain can occur anywhere between the wrists and the elbow, especially in the forearm. Overuse of the fingers and wrist, such as tightly gripping a golf club or computer and keyboard use, can cause G-Bow.

If the outer side of your elbow is where your pain or irritation is, think ‘T-Bow’. A backhand swing (or 4,000) can cause T-Bow, but so can any motion that involves repetitive twisting of the wrist, like using a screwdriver, painting, or cooking. The difference between T-Bow and G-Bow is the cause and location of the pain, but because they’re both types of tendonitis, symptoms and treatment would be nearly identical.


Usually RICE –Rest, Ice, Compression (in this case, a brace), Elevation (you could try walking around with your elbow over your head all day ;]). Stretching is also important, and a physical therapist or physician should be able to help you with those. Many patients can benefit from manual treatment (OMT) to help with joint mobilization, which can decrease swelling and ease pain. For chronic Tennis or Golfer’s elbow, Platelet Rich Plasma, or PRP has been shown to help patients at Village Osteopath.


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Village Osteopath
15510 Herriman Blvd
Noblesville, IN 46060
(317) 491-5272
(317) 324-3183 (fax)