These are a common cause of elbow pain. Tennis elbow refers to pain on the outer side of the elbow while golfers elbow affects the inner side. The condition is also known as lateral or medial epicondylitis. Both conditions are similar in nature. They are the result of repetitive strain which then causes micro tearing in the tendon. Patients experience pain which can in some cases be severe and disabling. The pain in tennis elbow/lateral epicondylitis can be located directly over the prominent point on the outer side of the elbow (the lateral epicondyle), but the pain can also radiate further down the outer/upper side of the forearm. Golfers elbow typically results in pain on the inner side of the elbow (the medial epicondyle) that can radiate down the inner side of the forearm.
Patients often complain of activity related pain and a constant dull ache. Simple tasks like carrying a shopping bag can aggravate the pain and coping with work, hobbies or sporting activities can be a challenge. The muscles/tendons involved in tennis/golfers elbow help moving the wrist and hand and therefore all manual activities can become painful. Other symptoms include tenderness over the outer/inner side of the elbow, burning pain and reduced grip strength. For some patients the symptoms can be severe and disabling.
Simple measures like activity modification and pain avoidance can help some patients to overcome the problem. It can sometimes take years for the condition to eventually disappear. Physiotherapy and the use of a tennis/golfers elbow brace are useful supportive measures. Steroid injections have been used for many years with good short-term success, but recent research has shown that the repeated use of steroid injections often leads to a worse long-term outcome. Steroid injections are therefore rarely used nowadays.
Regenerative treatment with PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) has been shown to support the natural healing efforts of the body. The injection of concentrated growth factors stimulates the repair of the damaged tendons, encourages the ingrowth of new blood vessels and therefore initiates and supports a lasting healing response.
At the Orthobiologics Clinic we are delighted to help patients who are suffering from elbow pain. Our experts can assess your condition and discuss the most appropriate way of treating you.