Tennis Elbow V/S Golfer's Elbow- Which is which?

Tennis Elbow and Golfer’s Elbow basically resonate with sport injuries. However, even if you haven’t indulged in these sports ever, it's possible to suffer from these two very common typical sports injuries. Both these injuries are caused by repetitive motion of the arm and wrist.

Even without playing a regular sport or physical exercise, repeated motion in any activity in your daily routine can cause a tennis elbow or golfer's elbow. But what is the difference between the two? Is there any?

Difference Between Tennis Elbow And Golfer's Elbow

While both conditions affect the elbow joint, causing intense elbow pain, the difference lies in what part of the elbow gets inflamed. Both these conditions are a result of injuries to the tendons that attach your forearm muscles to your elbow bone. Tennis elbow is scientifically known as lateral epicondylitis and golfer's elbow is known as medial epicondylitis.

Tennis elbow is known as lateral epicondylitis because the condition affects the tendons attached to the outer or lateral side of the elbow, which are connected to the muscles that extend your wrist backwards and straighten your fingers. On the other hand, medial epicondylitis i.e golfer’s elbow affects tendons connected to the inner or medial side of the elbow. These are attached to muscles that enable you to flex your wrist and move your fingers when you grip something.

Common Symptoms to look out for :

Tennis Elbow: With a tennis elbow, the pain usually radiates from the outside of the elbow into the forearm and wrist. And you could see the following symptoms :

  1. Pain while twisting or bending actions of the arm, for, e.g. when opening a lid off a jar or twisting door knobs>
  2. Stiffness or pain in the arm when extended
  3. Swelling in the elbow joint
  4. Weakened grip

Golfer's Elbow: Golfer's elbow, on the other hand, causes pain down your arm from inside the elbow. Here are the symptoms you could see if you are suffering from a golfer's elbow :

  1. An ache in the forearm or wrist
  2. A numbing sensation in the hand
  3. Tingling sensation in the hand
  4. Pain when trying to make a fist
  5. Weakened grip

Painters, plumbers, carpenters or anyone performing repetitive gripping and lifting activities are also prone to tennis and golfer's elbow.

Tips for Treating Tennis and Golfer's Elbow

  1. Regular exercise and gradual stretching strengthen your muscles, especially the forearm muscles.
  2. A physical, occupational or hand therapy to help manage your condition, as recommended by your Doctor
  3. If your injury results from playing a particular sport, it's best to learn the proper form and train under a professional.
  4. You can also opt for wearing support for your elbow, Vissco Next tennis elbow support can be used for acute elbow pain, tennis elbow, golfers elbow, lateral epicondylitis, medial epicondylitis and other conditions causing pain and discomfort in the elbow, and requiring mild support.
  5. A surgery also may be recommended by your doctor if non-invasive treatments don't work for a year

How Yoga can help in relief

Yoga stretches and asanas can relieve pain and stiffness to a great extent if done properly and in a controlled manner. Sometimes, it can help your tennis and golfer's elbow pain. However, it's best to consult your doctor before doing any of these asanas to be safe and avoid worsening the pain.

For tennis elbow, you can do the Ardha bhujangasana or the half cobra pose, gomukhasana or cow face pose, utthita trikonasana or the extended triangle pose.

Similarly, for the golfer's elbow, you can do the viparite namaskar or reverse prayer pose, garudasana or eagle pose, chaturangasana or low plank.

Fortunately, most cases of tennis elbow and golfer's elbow respond well to conservative treatments. Surgery is usually unnecessary, although complete recovery can take weeks or even months, depending on the severity of the condition. The most important aspect of treatment is reducing the strain on the affected tendons. You can check out Vissco Next’s Tennis Elbow support for providing the ideal compression to the strained muscles to keep you in action.

Tennis Elbow: What it is, Causes, Symptoms & Treatment
Golfer's elbow - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic
Golfer’s Elbow (Medial Epicondylitis): What Is It, Diagnosis & Treatment Tennis elbow