EP Sports Therapist Becky explains what is meant by tennis and golfers elbow and how to treat the problem…..
“As summer approaches I thought I’d focus on some of the common sports that tend to pick up when the weather is nice, particularly as Wimbledon approaches: tennis and golf.
Lateral epicondylitis = tennis elbow
Medial epicondylitis = golfers elbow
Epicondylitis is inflammation that is caused by small repetitive traumas to the flexor and extensor muscles at the medial and lateral epicondyles (the bony bits) on the sides of your elbow. The symptoms can include pain around the elbow, and pain on resisted flexion/extension of the wrist for medial/lateral epicondylitis respectively.
The causes of epicondylitis generally fall into on one or a combination of the below:
Over use of flexors
Muscular imbalance between flexors and extensors
Over training and not enough rest between sessions
Training too hard or too often
If you are a beginner at the above sports, it could be likely that you don’t use these muscles all that often, therefore beginning to train more frequently can lead to the overuse.
How to treat
Eliminate all pain-causing movements until pain is reduced, including activities such as tennis/golf (sorry)
Ice and ice massage over the area
Stretching exercises so long as no swelling is present, see below
Friction massage- your therapist can advise with this course of treatment
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (i.e ibuprofen) if required, but only short term and ensure your GP is happy for you to take if you have any concerns
Flexor stretch (for golfers) and extensor stretch (for tennis)
Once your pain is under control, you can move onto strengthening exercises, for these its best to consult your therapist to avoid overloading of the muscles.”
For any queries or if your suffering from the above injuries please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, Becky works at EP HQ every Wednesday 5pm – 8pm