Golfer or Tennis elbow are less common in tennis and golfers and more frequently seen in the general population who engage in manual tasks or who operate a computer daily. The tendons of the forearm become tethered and inflamed, with the nerve sometimes being implicated, the joints can become inflamed and therefore stiff reducing ranges of movement and strength.
Pain on the outer (tennis) and inner (golfers) of the elbow. The bones are sore to touch and there is an ache at rest with soreness or sharp pains developing when objects are lifted with the hand. Pain may radiate into the hand and might even stem from the neck and shoulder. This is a consequence of the nerves being implicated. The nerves run through the outer and inner regions of the elbow and can become tight and irritated. It can be painful when gripping or reaching out with the hand. It may be difficult to type or use a computer mouse.
Poor sitting posture
Golf – poor technique
Tennis – poor technique
A combined approach is often needed with manual mobilisation or massage utilised, along with electro-therapeutic modalities such as ultrasound. Ergonomic assessment and questions about the work environment including postural habits are often indicated and may result in modifications to the work environment. The cervical spine is also assessed and often found to have tensioning around the small joints where the nerves feeding the forearm exit.
Graded strengthening is very important in restoring functional capacity to the muscles of the elbow and forearm.
Acupuncture is very effective as an addition to treatment. It helps restore the body’s natural defence mechanism and can help stimulate the release of endorphins and natural anti-inflammatory chemicals.