Tennis and Golfer elbow – are they the same thing?

Tennis and Golfer elbow – are they the same thing? are they totally different? Here are some quick dot points to explain the difference and similarities between the two


Location of Pain:

  • Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis): Pain is felt on the tendon attachments of the outer side of the elbow (thumb side).
  • Golfer’s Elbow (Medial Epicondylitis): Pain is experienced on the tendons of the inner side of the elbow.


Common Causes:

  • Tennis Elbow: Caused by repetitive wrist extension and gripping activities, not exclusive to tennis, but includes such things as desk work, tool usage, painting/writing
  • Golfer’s Elbow: Result of repetitive wrist flexion and finger clenching, again not limited to golf but includes gym lifting, racket sports, tool usage and throwing.


  • Both conditions share symptoms of pain, tenderness, weakness, and limited range of motion in the affected arm. They can have any or all of these symptoms depending on acuity and aggravating factors.

Treatment Similarities:

  • Both may be managed with specific strength and rehab training, relative rest from activities (we try to avoid complete rest) and medication like NSAIDs, as well as our shockwave therapy, dry needling and all other Osteopathic techniques.

Surgical Intervention:

  • Surgery is rarely required for either conditions and considered when all else fails, including cortisone injections.

Preventive Measures:

  • Prevention for both involves techniques such as gradual progression activities, proper warm-up, strength training, and listening to the body to avoid overuse and strain.

Remember, proper diagnosis and treatment should be provided by a healthcare professional, and individual experiences may vary. Book an appointment today!


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