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- Improper golf swing technique or grip of golf clubs
- Wrong model of golf clubs
- Improper technique for hitting a tennis ball
- Improper size of tennis racquet or tension of racquet strings
Doing certain arm motions too much, such as:
- Golf swings
- Tennis strokes (forehand or serve)
- Using a hammer or screwdriver
- Playing golf or tennis
- Work that requires repetitive gripping or clenching of the fingers (especially when the hand is bent up or down at the wrist)
- Muscle imbalance
- Decreased flexibility
- Advancing age
- Pain or tenderness on the inner side of the elbow
Pain increases when:
- Shaking hands
- Turning doorknobs
- Picking up objects with your palm down
- Hitting a forehand in tennis
- Swinging a golf club
- Applying pressure to this area
- Possibly pain extending down the forearm
- Tightness of forearm muscles
- Stiffness or trouble moving the elbow or hand
Pain on the inner side of the elbow when:
- Doing certain arm motions
- Pressing on the medial epicondyle
- Stiffness of elbow and pain with wrist movement
- Make sure the bones of the elbow are normal
- Look for a calcium deposit in the injured tendons
- Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil)
- Naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn)
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
- Topical pain medicines (such as creams, patches) applied to the skin
Gradual Return to Your Sport
- Keep your arm muscles strong so they can absorb the energy of sudden physical stress.
- After a short warm-up period, stretch your arm muscles before physical activity.
- Learn the proper technique for activities that require forearm motion.
If you play golf, ask a golf specialist to check your:
- Swing technique
- Model of golf clubs
If you play tennis, ask a tennis specialist to check your:
- Technique for hitting a forehand
- Racket size and tension of racket strings
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons http://www.aaos.org
American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine http://www.sportsmed.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Association http://www.coa-aco.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation http://www.canorth.org
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://www.aaos.org .
American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine website. Available at: http://www.aossm.org/tabs/Index.aspx.
Assessment and treatment guidelines for elbow injuries. The Physician and Sportsmedicine . 1996;24:42.
Human Tendons . Human Kinetics; 1997.
Managing golf injuries. The Physician and Sportsmedicine . 1999;29:41.
Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma website. Available at: http://www.nismat.org/ .
Petersen B, Rovati S. Diclofenac epolamine (Flector) patch: evidence for topical activity. Clin Drug Investig . 2009;29(1):1-9.
Shiri R, Viikari-Juntura E. Lateral and medial epicondylitis: role of occupational factors. Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol . 2011;25(1):43-57.
10/26/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us : Massey T, Derry S, Moore R, McQuay H. Topical NSAIDs for acute pain in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010;(6):CD007402.
- Reviewer: Teresa Briedwell PT, DPT, PCS
- Review Date: 12/2013 -
- Update Date: 01/13/2014 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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