Tennis Elbow and Golfer’s Elbow – What’s the Difference?

differences between tennis and golf elbow

Differences of Tennis Elbow & Golfer’s Elbow

You don’t have to be Roger Federer or Rory McIlroy to have it. Even if you’ve never played a set of tennis, pickleball or a round of golf, you can still suffer from Tennis Elbow or Golfer’s Elbow. Both conditions are caused by repetitive arm and wrist motions, but the key difference lies in which part of the elbow is inflamed. In this article, we’ll explore the causes, symptoms, and effective treatment options for both conditions.

Tennis Elbow and Golfer’s Elbow fall under the category of epicondylitis, which is the inflammation of tendons that attach to the elbow. Tennis Elbow affects the outer part of the elbow, known as the lateral epicondyle, while Golfer’s Elbow affects the inner part, known as the medial epicondyle.

lateral epicondyltis also known as tennis elbow medial epicondylitis also known as tennis elbow

What Is Tennis Elbow?

Tennis Elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, is commonly seen in adults between the ages of 30-50. It occurs when the muscles and tendons on the outside of the elbow and forearm become inflamed due to overuse and strain. People who work in  jobs with repetitive motions like plumbing, carpentry, or painting are particularly prone to this condition. Seasonal activities such as raking or gardening can also contribute to Tennis Elbow.

Symptoms of Tennis Elbow may include radiating pain from the outside of the elbow to the forearm and wrist. The pain can be a constant ache or only experienced during certain activities that involve reaching, grasping, or lifting. It’s important to consult a doctor for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Learn How to “Treat Tennis & Golfer’s Elbow with the 3pp Elbow POP Splint” View Video

What Is Golfer’s Elbow?

Golfer’s Elbow, or medial epicondylitis, is characterized by irritation on the inner side of the arm and elbow. This condition is usually caused by repetitive twisting or flexing of the wrist, leading to overuse of the forearm muscles. Activities like gardening, golfing, or tennis can contribute to Golfer’s Elbow. Lifting objects with an extended elbow and palm facing down can also be a cause. Sports like racquet sports, baseball, weightlifting, or carpentry can all be risk factors for this condition.

Symptoms of Golfer’s Elbow include pain on the inside of the elbow when lifting the wrist or hand, pain when twisting the forearm, or when making a fist. The area may be slightly swollen or tender to touch. If left untreated for an extended period, additional symptoms such as elbow stiffness or weakness in the hands or wrist may occur.

Treatment for Golfer’s Elbow & Tennis Elbow

Immediate treatment for both conditions involves resting the elbow and wrist. It may take several weeks for the pain to decrease and even longer for the symptoms to completely disappear. Icing the affected area and taking anti-inflammatory pain relievers can help reduce pain and swelling. However, if the condition does not improve, it’s crucial to seek medical attention.

In addition to rest and medication, here are 5 Helpful Tips for Treating Both Tennis and Golfer’s Elbow:

  1. For a sports related injury – seek guidance from an expert, such as a tennis or golf professional, to learn proper form and technique.
  2. Consistently do exercises to gradually stretch and strengthen the muscles, particularly those in the forearm.
  3. Your doctor may recommend a cortisone shot to alleviate inflammation.
  4. Therapy, such as physical, occupational, or hand therapy, may be advised to manage the condition effectively.
  5. After a year of unsuccessful treatment, surgery may be considered as an option.

Your healthcare provider might also prescribe an elbow brace to relieve pressure on the muscles and promote healing. Elbow braces like the 3pp Elbow Pop Splint feature adjustable compression, allowing you to apply the right amount of pressure without restricting blood flow.

Elbow Brace for elbow pain, tennis elbow or golfers elbow
3pp Elbow Pop Splint

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How to Relieve Tennis or Golfer’s Elbow with a 3pp Elbow POP Splint

Our blogs are educational in nature and are not intended as a substitute for medical advice. Because your condition is unique to you, it is recommended that you consult with your health care provider before attempting any medical or therapeutic treatments. We are always happy to answer questions about products mentioned in our blogs, however, we are unable to provide a diagnosis or medical advice.

6 comments on “Tennis Elbow and Golfer’s Elbow – What’s the Difference?

  1. From my personal experience, excessive use of the mobile phone can also cause both Tennis and Golf elbow, especially when you make the sliding movement on the touch screen very often. I have been experiencing pain on the outside as well as the inside of my right elbow. I also get a lot of relief when I take a break from the phone.

  2. In addition to the elbow brace, are there any exercises a person can do to prevent or lessen the symptoms of golfer’s elbow? What about specific stretching exercises?

    1. Hi Dale,
      As we are not medical professionals, we recommend you speak with you healthcare provider about exercises and other treatments to help your golfer’s elbow.

  3. Interesting stuff, quite informative, regarding all injuries which we sometimes mix up. Kudos to you guys for this brilliant blog.

  4. Being a sports fan, this blog was an amazing read. Sports is such a genre which needs informative as well as stimulating facts and information – you got them all!

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