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What is tennis or golfer's elbow?

Rick Olderman
Physical Therapy Specialist

The muscles that bend and straighten the wrist have their origins at the elbow. Altering their function often leads to tennis or golfer's elbow. The medical term for tennis elbow is lateral epicondylitis, and for golfer's elbow it's medial epicondylitis. Both of these terms simply mean that inflammation is present either at the outer (lateral) bone of the elbow or the inner (medial) bone of the elbow. These terms do not specify what is inflamed or why. Traditional treatment is aimed at the superficial muscles of the elbow joint that flex and extend the wrist and fingers. Although these muscles may be painful, I believe the actual problem lies in the deeper muscles that control rotation of the forearm.

Fixing You: Shoulder & Elbow Pain: Self-treatment for rotator cuff strain, shoulder impingement, tennis elbow, golfer's elbow, and other diagnoses.

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Fixing You: Shoulder & Elbow Pain: Self-treatment for rotator cuff strain, shoulder impingement, tennis elbow, golfer's elbow, and other diagnoses.

The shoulders are a floating system on the trunk, held in place and moved by muscular control. The foundation of shoulder movement is the shoulder blade which has precise resting and moving...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.