Ever since the pandemic, solo sports like golf and tennis have been on the rise. While these sports are a great way to enjoy the outdoors while exercising, there is a drawback.
Both golf and tennis are associated with a variety of elbow injuries. So much so that they both have a name associated with them: golf elbow and tennis elbow.
Many people make the mistake of thinking these two conditions are the same thing. However, the reality is that there are some important differences between golf elbow vs tennis elbow. In this guide, we’ll be exploring these conditions and the treatment options available to you.
Tennis elbow, or Lateral Epicondylitis, is one of the most common types of elbow conditions. It affects roughly 3% of the population. This injury occurs when your wrist extensors become worn down.
Despite its name, you don’t need to play tennis to get a tennis elbow. Anything that wears down your outer elbow, like gardening or using tools, can cause it. With this condition, you’ll tend to feel pain in the outer forearm.
When you overuse your wrist flexors, you’ll begin to develop a condition known as Medial Epicondylitis (aka golf elbow). When you’re experiencing pain on the inside of your elbow, the most likely culprit is this injury.
It can also affect your ability to properly grip things. And, like tennis elbow, you don’t need to be a golfer to get this type of injury.
The Difference Between Golf Elbow vs Tennis Elbow
The difference between golf and tennis elbow lies in their technical terms. The ‘lateral’ in Lateral Epicondylitis means outer, while the ‘medial’ in Medial Epicondylitis means inner.
In other words, golf elbow impacts the inner part of the elbow, while tennis elbow hurts the outer part of it. When you have tennis elbow, it can hurt to extend your fingers and push your wrist backward. Meanwhile, the golf elbow makes it hard to clench your hand into a fist.
How to Treat These Conditions
When it comes to the treatment of both of these elbow overuse injuries, rest is the most important factor. Most of the time, elbow inflammation can improve over time with proper exercises and physical therapy.
In the meantime, anti-inflammatory medication, braces, and ice packs can all help with the elbow pain.
In the most severe cases of elbow injuries, surgery might be the best option. However, you get the medical opinion of a professional before going down this route.
Need Elbow Care? Contact Idaho Hand to Shoulder
We hope this guide helped you learn more about the differences between golf elbow vs tennis elbow. Here at Idaho Hand to Shoulder, we know that the elbow is one of the most active joints in the body.
So regardless of what condition you have, this can result in a lot of pain in your day-to-day activities.
That’s why we use advanced diagnostics to determine the best course of treatment for your needs. So if you’re ready for the quality of life you deserve, schedule an appointment with us today.