How to fix Elbow Pain
First, let's discuss what exactly golfer and tennis elbow is?
Golfer's elbow is a condition that causes pain where the tendons of your forearm muscles attach to the bony bump on the inside of your elbow. It is a painful condition that occurs when tendons in your elbow are overloaded, usually by repetitive motions of the wrist and arm or commonly known as an overuse injury. The pain can be characterized a pinpoint pain and tenderness over the attachment site that might spread into your forearm and wrist.
Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) is a painful condition that occurs primarily where the tendons of your forearm muscles attach to a bony bump on the outside of your elbow but can also spread into your forearm and wrist. It generally occurs when tendons in your elbow are overloaded, usually by repetitive motions of the wrist and arm.
Despite their names, athletes aren't the only people who develop tennis or golfers elbow. People whose jobs feature the types of motions that can lead to tennis elbow include office workers, plumbers, painters, carpenters, and butchers.
So what do you do about golfers or tennis elbow?
This is where those of you coming in looking for a quick fix will be disappointed. Time is a huge component of the healing process while not all will take this long 12 months is a common time frame for these issues to fully resolve. The best treatment approach is through activity modification (avoiding or modifying activities that significantly worsen symptoms) and progressive loading via resistance exercises and flexibility to tolerance. There are no magic pills to resolving these types of issues and while things like taping, dry needling, manual therapy may help curb symptoms they will most likely not fix the issue. While a consistent strength training and mobility program can help reduce the risk of these issues coming on in the first place or returning after a resolution there is no way to 100% reduce injury in sport. Managing swings vai limited practice and play if needed is the other piece of the pie. These issues tend to arise from overuse and poor physical conditioning of the body but can happen to anyone.
Progressive loading through resistance exercise focusing on eccentric lowering is the best active approach to elbow tendonitis.
Dr J.P. Guidry DPT CSCS TPI