TENNIS ELBOW

Most of the muscles that extend your wrist are attached to a bony bump on the outside of your elbow called the lateral epicondyle. Sometimes, through injury or overuse, the site where these muscles insert can become irritated or inflamed. This condition is called lateral epicondylitis or “tennis elbow”- although most of those affected do not play tennis.

Activities involving repetitive wrist extension are a common cause of this condition, i.e., tennis, carpentry, bricklaying, knitting, playing piano, typing, or lifting objects with your palm facing down. The condition is 3 times more likely to strike your dominant arm.

The pain often begins as an intermittent or gradual discomfort during activity and progresses so that even simple activities, like holding a coffee cup, become painful. Pain may increase when you straighten your arm, grip a doorknob, or shake hands. The pain may vary from mild to severe and commonly radiates into the forearm, sometimes to the wrist.

GOLFER’S ELBOW

Most of the muscles that flex your wrist are attached to a bony bump on the inside of your elbow called the “medial epicondyle.” Sometimes, through injury or overuse, the site where these muscles originate can become irritated or inflamed. This condition is called “medial epicondylitis”, or “golfer’s elbow.”

Although the condition is named “golfer’s elbow,” over 90% of those affected are not even athletes, much fewer golfers. The condition is more common in certain sports, especially golf, throwing, bowling, football, archery, and weight lifting. Occupations that require heavy gripping or repeated hand movements, like carpentry or typing, can predispose you to this condition. Smokers and people who are obese are more likely to experience this condition.

Medial epicondylitis is the most frequent cause of pain on the “inside” of your elbow but is 3-10 times less likely than its “outside” counterpart- lateral epicondylitis (i.e. “tennis elbow”). Medial epicondylitis is most common between the ages of 40 and 60. The condition strikes the dominant arm in over ¾ of cases. Your symptoms will probably include a dull aching pain over the bump on the inside of your elbow that becomes more intense with use. As the condition progresses, you may notice grip weakness or limitations when shaking hands, grasping objects, and opening jars.

If left untreated, medial epicondylitis can last indefinitely. Studies show that up to 40% of untreated patients suffer prolonged discomfort, some as long as three years. Fortunately, conservative treatment like the type provided in our office is effective for relieving this condition.


Credit: Information on this page provided by ChiroUp.

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