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Tennis Elbow or Golfer's Elbow: Learn the Difference

Even if you haven’t spent a long time on the court or green, it’s possible for you to develop tennis elbow or golfers’ elbow. These painful orthopedic conditions aren’t just reserved for the pros. In fact, these conditions are most common in adults between the ages of 30 and 50. While both are types of epicondylitis, which is inflammation of the tendons surrounding the elbow, there are notable differences. With the help of your orthopedic specialist in Atlanta, you can determine whether or not you’re suffering from one of these conditions.

Tennis Elbow

While named after the sport, tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, isn’t just experienced by those who play tennis. It’s simply a term used to describe the overuse and muscle strain that can develop on the outside of the elbow and forearm. The more you use your forehand and backhand, the easier it is for those muscles to become strained, leading to inflammation and pain. Cooks, painters, carpenters, mechanics, and plumbers are a few of the most likely to develop tennis elbow.

Those who have developed tennis elbow will experience pain radiating from the outside of the elbow, forearm, and wrist. Some may feel a constant ache while others may only experience the pain while performing specific activities. No matter when the discomfort plagues you, it’s important to visit with an orthopedist to receive a proper diagnosis. From there, a coordinating treatment plan will be given in order to resolve the pain.

Golfer’s Elbow

Golfer’s elbow, or medial epicondylitis, involves the opposite muscles than tennis elbow does. This type of epicondylitis is used to describe the overuse of the muscles on the inner part of the wrist, arm, and elbow. Typically, golfer’s elbow is caused by repetitive twisting, flexing, or bending the arm downwards. It can be caused by simple activities like gardening, throwing a ball, or playing certain sports. Repetitive lifting can also exacerbate the condition.

If you’re experiencing golfer’s elbow, you’ll feel a pain on the inside of your elbow when lifting your hand, twisting your forearm, or possibly when making a fist. It’s common for the affected area to become swollen or tender. In some cases, those suffering from golfer’s elbow also experience joint stiffness, specifically in the wrist and elbow. To avoid further complications, it’s important to meet with an orthopedist to determine whether or not golfer’s elbow is the reason for your discomfort.

Whether you suspect golfer’s elbow or tennis elbow, the best thing you can do when experiencing arm pain is to rest. If the pain doesn’t subside, schedule an appointment with OrthoAtlanta to meet with an experienced orthopedic physician in Atlanta. OrthoAtlanta has medical professionals specializing in upper extremities, including the elbow. With their help, you can determine the cause of your pain and establish a plan to help you heal.

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