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Tennis elbow and golfer's elbow are two very similar injuries. Both can be caused by overuse or repetitive motion from a specific activity, such as tennis or golf. While they may look the same on the outside, there are some significant differences between them that you need to know about if you suspect either injury. In this blog post, we'll discuss what these two conditions are and how to tell which one you have so that you can get proper treatment for it!
What is tennis elbow?
Tennis elbow is an injury to the muscles and tendons in the back of your forearm. It's usually caused by repetitive motion, especially when gripping a tennis racket or golf club. Still, it can also be brought on by lifting heavy objects with poor form. The main symptom of this condition is a sharp pain that radiates into your forearm and elbow. If you have this, it's important not to grip anything too tightly with your affected arm as it can worsen the pain! Some ways to reduce pain from the tennis elbow include resting the injured area for a few days or sticking some ice on it.
How you get tennis elbow?
1. Repetitive use of the muscle:
Most of the time, tennis elbow is caused by too much use of the muscles in your forearm. This can include activities like playing a sport or just using tools regularly at work.
2. Improper use of muscles:
In some cases, the leading cause is misusing your muscles. This might include not warming up before a workout or working out with bad form on an exercise machine at the gym.
3. Poor posture:
Most of the time, people with tennis elbow have lousy posture. This can include sitting at a desk for too long without taking breaks or even sleeping in an awkward position which causes your muscles to tense up and become strained.
4. Poor ergonomics:
Sometimes, a person can end up with a tennis elbow if they're using tools or equipment that doesn't fit their body correctly. This might include things like the size of your desk at work or even how you use your computer keyboard and mouse!
5. Injury to the muscle:
In some cases, the tennis elbow is brought on by an injury to your muscles. This can include getting hit in the arm with a stick while playing hockey or falling and landing wrong during sports.
What are the symptoms of tennis elbow?
Pain is the main symptom of this condition. It usually starts out as a mild ache in your forearm and will slowly move into your arm, shoulder, or back over time if you don't give it any rest. The pain can be very sharp at times, especially when gripping something tightly with that particular hand, like opening up a jar. In some cases, your elbow will feel very stiff and may even have a hard time fully bending or straightening out all the way!
How do you prevent tennis elbow?
Getting into good habits can help prevent tennis elbow from coming on. Some things you can do include:
- Warming up your muscles before a workout or sports game with light activity like jogging in place and dynamic stretches to warm them up.
- Using proper form when lifting heavy objects so that the weight is evenly distributed among all of your muscles.
- Sticking to proper ergonomics when working with tools or equipment so that you don't injure yourself again!
How do you treat tennis elbow?
There are a lot of different ways to treat this condition, including:
- Resting the injured arm and avoiding any strenuous activity for up to two weeks, including sports.
- Taking over-the-counter pain medication like ibuprofen to reduce inflammation and swelling that can make it worse.
- Applying ice or heat to the painful area for about 20 minutes at a time every few hours if you have a tennis elbow caused by an injury will help with any muscle spasms as well.
- Using a heating pad or ice pack to regularly apply heat and cold if you have pain from overuse of your muscles, which can help release tension in them.
- In some cases, surgery might be necessary to repair the damaged muscle tissue causing the pain. This will also fix any other damage caused by long-term use of the muscles.
What is golfer's elbow?
Golfer's elbow is very similar to tennis elbow, but it occurs on the opposite side of your body. It will cause pain near the outside area of your elbow instead of the inside and often feels worse when you are gripping things with that hand rather than pushing or pulling against something! Many people experience golfer's elbow after playing lots of golf, but it can also happen if you play other sports like tennis or baseball. Just like with tennis elbow, golfer's elbow is most often caused by overusing muscles in your forearm, which cause micro-tears to form and make them inflamed.
How do you get golfers elbow?
In general, golfer's elbow is caused by the same things as tennis elbow. However, it can also be brought on after an injury to a different part of your arm! This could include falling during a snowboarding trip, and landing wrong with one hand extended out in front of you, which strains that muscle tissue.
What are the symptoms of golfer's elbow?
Golfer's elbow will also have pain as the primary symptom, but it will be located on the outside of your elbow. You may also notice that your hand feels weak or numb while gripping things with that arm. The other symptoms aren't quite as specific to golfer's elbow and can include swelling in your forearm, muscle spasms around the area where you're feeling pain, and a lot of stiffness when you try to straighten or bend your elbow!
How do you prevent golfer's elbow?
Some good habits that can help include:
- Taking plenty of breaks between hitting balls for the golf course so that your muscles can rest.
- Drinking lots of water throughout the day since dehydration can make your muscles cramp or feel stiff.
- Doing some stretching exercises before and after a round of golf to keep the muscles in your arm flexible.
How do you treat golfer's elbow?
Treating it is pretty much the same as treating tennis elbow, but sometimes an injury like falling on a snowboard can lead to a different kind of injury that requires a doctor's attention! In general, you can treat golfer's elbow by doing the following things:
- Take a resistance band or tie it around something sturdy.
- Loop your fingers through the other end of it, keeping them close together.
- Bend only at your elbow joint to bring your hands toward the back of your head as far as you can comfortably go. Don't let your shoulder move forward!
- Slowly straighten your arms back to their original position.
- Repeat this process if you feel pain in the muscles near the elbow joint itself, but try to keep it in a comfortable range for you by adjusting that band!
- If you think there might be some inflammation or swelling around that area, apply heat to the painful area for about 20 minutes at a time several times throughout the day.
- Give it at least a week to start feeling better, but if you still feel pain after this amount of time, make sure to see your doctor or physical therapist for more treatment options!
How long will my recovery take?
Recovering from golfer's elbow can take anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months, depending on the severity of your injury and how well you treat it! Make sure to follow all of your doctor's or physical therapist's instructions so that you can come back from this injury faster than ever!
Can golfers elbow cause tennis elbow?
This is possible, but not very likely, since golfer's elbow and two different injuries cause tennis elbow. One is caused by making micro-tears in the muscles in your arm when you're overusing them, while an injury usually brings on the other to your arm or shoulder that creates inflammation.
There isn't a direct connection. They are different types of injuries that cause pain in your arm near your elbow! However, if you catch either one early enough, it can be treated with very similar methods (albeit ones specific to each injury). If you try to treat both of them simultaneously, things can get complicated since they will probably worsen each other! For that reason, people with pain in their elbow or forearm need to see a doctor instead of trying to play through whatever activity is causing the problem.
How to prevent elbow pain
Elbow pain is a common complaint among people playing golf, tennis, or other racquet sports. Preventing it may be as simple as wearing a brace or support at the elbow. Some also find it useful to change their grip on the racquet, paddle, or golf club.
Here are a few tips for preventing that elbow pain:
- Take regular breaks during long sessions of play. Your muscles need time to recover. If you don't give them a chance, you're much more likely to get something like golfer's elbow.
- Don't grip the racquet, paddle, or club too tightly. Keep your fingers loose and let the stick do most of the work for you. You don't want to be in a position where one wrong move can cause severe damage to your muscles.
- Make sure to stretch your muscles out before you play and again after you're done playing for a few hours.
- Wear a brace or support on your elbow. This will help keep the joint in place so that even if you injure one of those tiny muscles, it won't turn into something serious!
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