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The most common type of elbow pain that we treat in our clinic is either lateral epicondylitis or tennis elbow and medial epicondylitis or golfers elbow. You can search online for a detailed description of the anatomy of these conditions. To summarize, both of these conditions are activity induced. In other words, it is typically overuse that causes micro-trauma and a subsequent inflammatory reaction at the tendinous attachment of the wrist muscles to your elbow. Lateral epicondylitis or tennis elbow is pain on the outside of your elbow. It occurs at the attachment of the wrist extensor muscles that are on the back side of your forearm. Think about the action of your wrist as you perform a forehand swing of a tennis racket. Medial epicondylitis or golfers elbow is pain on the inside of your elbow. It occurs at the attachment of the wrist flexor muscles that are on the front side of your forearm. Think about the action of your wrist as you initiate the downswing with a golf club as well as the rotational action of your forearm as you follow through with your swing. Now, multiply that by 100 times or greater while you play a tennis match or attempt to outdrive your buddies on the golf course. This overuse syndrome starts as micro-trauma to the tendinous insertion accompanied by inflammation and pain. If left untreated, the condition persists due to chronic scar tissue and muscle knots that can inhibit the proper function of the tissues.
Principles of Treatment: