Tennis or Golfers Elbow? Or Epicondylitis?

Tennis and Golfers elbow are conditions that that involve inflammation of the bone and tendons; at the tendinous attachment of the forearm muscles at either side of the elbow. These 2 conditions are generally caused by over-use and muscle imbalances.

Tennis elbow is also known as Lateral Epicondylitis this basically means inflammation of the tendons that attach around the outside of the epicondyle of the upper arm bone (humerus). If you feel around either side of your elbow you will feel a lump on either side, these are the epicondyles as shown in the image below. The tendons that are affected here are those that are part of the muscles that extend the wrist (so lifting the hand up closer to the top of the forearm).

So, then Golfers Elbow is also known as Medial Epicondylitis meaning inflammation of the tendons that attach around the inside epicondyle of the upper arm bone (humerus). The affected tendons with Golfers elbow are those of the wrist flexors so they bring the hand down towards the bottom of the forearm.


Tennis Elbow is generally caused by overuse of the muscles in the top half of the forearm, so any activity that involves working these muscles can contribute to tennis Elbow. Such as tennis, jobs that involve repetitive lifting or using heavy tools, typing on a computer, new activities or activities that may not be done on a regular basis like carrying luggage, moving house, gardening, lifting a new baby etc. Or even activities that require an awkward posture. And as you now might be able to figure out; Golfer’s Elbow is caused by activities that involve overuse of the muscles of the bottom half of the forearm such as golf or sports that involve gripping and throwing, use of vibrating tools or jobs and hobbies that require repetitive movements of the elbow for example using computers, painting, climbing, chopping, gardening etc.

If you have been experiencing pain in your forearms especially up near the elbow, and have been using your forearms more than usual with more strenuous use you may have tennis or golfers elbow. It is also possible to have both at the same time. The best thing to do if you are experiencing this is to rest your forearms from the activity and book a remedial massage so we can test you for Golfers or Tennis elbow and treat you accordingly. We can treat this by relaxing the muscle firstly so treatment will be less painful, then we will use deeper techniques to release and relax the affected muscles and to increase the blood flow to the area to give the muscles and tendons a faster recovery. We can also apply Rock Tape to help relieve affected structures and give you some aftercare advice to help get your forearms functioning again.