Tennis And Golfer’s Elbow Pain
Golfer’s elbow and tennis elbow both involve your forearm but on different sides of your elbow. They both result from inflammation and injury to the tendons in your elbow and a reduced ability of your body to recover.
This involves the forearm muscles and tendons that travel from your inside elbow (“funny bone” side) to your hand and fingers. These muscles are used in bending your wrist in the direction of your palm as well as twisting motions of your wrist, hence the connection to golf.
Symptoms may include reduced grip strength as well as pain close to and below your funny bone. If your work includes bending your wrist often, twisting or forearm pronation (ie. turning your palm in and downwards) this may be one of the reasons you have golfer’s elbow.
Stretches And Exercises To Help Your Elbow Pain
- Stretch it: Hold your arm out in front of you with your palm facing up and gently pull your hand and fingers down and back towards your body using your other hand until you feel a slight pull. Hold this position for 30 seconds and repeat twice
- Strengthen it: Place your palm facing up on a table surface. Bend your wrist to lift your palm off the table towards the ceiling. Hold for 2 seconds and repeat 10 times. You can also add weight for added resistance to this exercise by holding a water bottle or hammer
- Strengthen it: Hold your arm out in front of you with your palm facing down and gently pull your hand and fingers down and back towards you using your other hand until you feel a slight pull. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds and repeat twice
- Extension stretch: Place your palm facing down on a table surface. Bend your wrist to lift your hand up and off the table towards the ceiling. Hold the position for 2 seconds and repeat 10 times
Strengthen your grip
Hold a squishy ball or “stress ball” in your hand and gently squeeze. Squeeze the ball for 2 seconds and repeat 10 times. This exercise is helpful if you have either tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow
Another strength exercise
Another strengthening exercises you can do is called the “hammer exercise”. Hold the handle of the hammer and rest your forearm and hand on a flat surface, palm up. Slowly rotate the hammer towards the centre of your body, turning the direction of your palm downwards. Then slowly reverse the motion, rotating the hammer outwards. Repeat 10 times for each direction
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can tennis or golfer’s elbow get better by itself?
A: Sometimes elbow pain such as tennis elbow can get better by itself. However, if your pain is starting to affect you or if your elbow is not getting better, speak with your physiotherapist or chiropractor. They will help you find out what is causing your elbow pain. They can help you decide on the most effective approach to find relief and return to your using your elbow without pain.
Treatment of your elbow pain depends on what caused it in the first place. Modifying your activity or changing your equipment such as a golf club can sometimes help. Your physiotherapist or chiropractor may perform manual therapy to your elbow and related areas to help bring relief of symptoms.
Rehabilitative exercises to stretch tight, tense muscles and strengthen weak ones can also help bring not only relief but also reduce the chances of future relapses.
Q: What is the main cause of my elbow pain?
A: Most of the time, these injuries are because of overuse or chronic repeated movements, much like what you do when you play golf or tennis. This can be made worse if you are using your equipment improperly such as an incorrect grip. Even having the wrong piece of equipment can make your elbow pains worse, such as using the wrong size racket or club.
Other causes also include long hours spent on a keyboard or using hand tools for extended periods. Adequate rest in between your games or work are key in allowing your elbow enough time to recover and heal before you use it again. This can greatly reduce your risk of injury as well as speed up your recovery
Q: What are the symptoms of golfer’s and tennis elbow?
A: Both golfer’s and tennis elbow usually start with ache on either side of your elbow. It can then turn into a severe burning pain. You may find it hard to grip things, lift or twist objects. Your grip may also get weaker. If it worsen, the pain may begin to move either up your arm or down towards your wrist. This could also lead to shoulder or wrist problems further down the road
Q: Is it better to rest or exercise tennis elbow?
A: The answer is actually both. Getting enough rest allows your elbow to recover and heal the minor strains from use such as working all day or playing a round of golf. A lack of rest can result in more frequent injury as well slow your healing process.
Exercise for your elbow also includes stretching after your activity or sport. Stretching afterwards has been shown to prevent the rise of injury, much like ensuring you get enough rest. In addition, by keeping your elbow and arm in general strong will help your elbow withstand the rigors placed on it. For example, the constant strain from hammering all day or the repetitive swings in tennis.
Results will of course vary from person to person