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Elbow Pain

elbow painElbow pain may be caused by a variety of conditions and illnesses. Below are some of the most common:

Tennis Elbow: Tennis elbow is a form of tendonitis that occurs as a result of an inflammation of the tendons and forearm muscles that are attached to the outside part of the elbow. The condition arises from the repeated contraction of the forearm muscles which causes tiny tears in the tendons. The elbow may be tender to the touch and pain may radiate down your forearm and wrist from activities that cause stress to the tendon, such as gripping of lifting.

Golfers Elbow: Pain from Golfers Elbow is generally on the inside of the forearm, rather than the outside as it affects the tendons on the inside of your elbow. Despite its name, anyone may be affected by this condition. Repetitive motion, in which you are constantly bending and straightening your elbow, can offset the pain.

Bursitis: Bursitis is the irritation and swelling of the bursae, the small fluid filled pads which cushion your bones, tendons and muscles. It is common in the elbow and shoulder, although it can occur anywhere in the body.


Golf and tennis elbows are actually very similar to each other. Golf elbow is also medically known as epicondylitis while tennis elbow is lateral epicondylitis. As a matter of fact both conditions arise from the same causes which basically boil down to overusing of tendons in the forearm area. Forearms have different kinds of muscles that make it possible for you to move your fingers. Tendons that are connected to these muscles converge together at the elbow joint. In some cases, the spot where these tendons meet gets inflamed and may cause a great deal of pain and discomfort. Both golf elbow and tennis elbow are forms of tendinopathy. The main difference between the two tendinopathies is the location of the injury. Golf elbow pertains to the injury of the inner tendon while the tennis one is the injury to the outer tendon.

Both tendinopathies exhibit somewhat similar manifestations like pain in the area that radiates to other areas of the arm. Usually it starts on a gradient and then increases but sometimes it can come as a sudden and sharp sensation.

The treatment depends on its specific cause. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin can help alleviate the pain. Hot or cold therapy may be prescribed. An elbow brace can also be used to reduce strain and restrict further unnecessary movement. Physical therapy can also be prescribed. Rehabilitation procedures are very helpful to recover from injuries to regain muscle strength and range of motion of upper extremities.

doctor examines elbowThere are different types of exercises that can be done to help strengthen one’s arm’s muscles. The patient is supposed to stand parallel to the wall with the affected arm adjacent to it. Place the palm flat on the wall with the fingertips pointing down. Make sure that the elbows are straight. Pressure should be slowly applied for 30 seconds. This exercise can be done three times per day.

Some flexibility exercises can also be applied to further improve the ability of the elbow to regain resistance and strength. In fact, most people have positive responses when they do individualized treatment programs. Surgery is usually not advised unless all measures have been tried and the patient’s condition does not improve for at least six months. Some people successfully try unconventional elbow pain relief methods like acupuncture to help remedy the condition.

Prevention is always the key when it comes to golf or tennis elbows. One should avoid lifting heavy objects especially when the arm is fully extended. If your work requires you to frequently use your hands and wrists, always remember to rest between periods of intense activities. When playing tennis, it is advisable to use two-handed backhand. In playing golf, one should always put some grip tape on the golf clubs that will be used.

It is always easier to prevent an illness than to handle it later.


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