Elbow Pain

United Joint & Spine Center treats various types of elbow pain by using different approaches that have been scientifically proven to be effective.

Golfer’s Elbow (Medial Epicondylitis)

What is Golfer's Elbow?

Golfer’s elbow is a chief complaint by those that experience pain on the inside of the elbow,  located near the “funny bone” sector. In the medical field, it is referred to as “medial epicondylitis.”  Golfer’s elbow results from progessive damage and exasperation to the tendons that attach to the bony bump on the inside of the elbow. These tendons attach to the muscles that run down the forearm and therefore are attached by a further set of tendons to the wrist and fingers. These tendons and muscles allow you to bend and twist your wrist and grip objects like a golf club, tennis racket, picking up groceries, using a hammer or even twisting door handles. Repetitive and vigorous gripping and twisting activities can damage the tendons at the elbow. Patients often experience soreness or pain at the inside of the elbow during or even after activities.

Where is Golfer's Elbow located?

Golfer’s elbow is located on the opposite side of the arm as tennis elbow. Tennis elbow affects the tendons on the outside of the elbow as golfers elbow affects the tendons on the inside of the elbow. There are many of us out there that feel that ONLY golfers get golfer’s elbow. This is far from the truth. You do not have to play golf to get golfer’s elbow.  Over time this condition has affected a wide variety of competitive athletes and active individuals.

Common Symptoms of Golfer's Elbow

  • Pain and tenderness on the inside of your elbow, in the region of the bony bump. The pain may extend into the forearm.
  • Stiffness on the inside of your elbow, more so in the morning after the elbow has not moved for a long period of time, For example: after a night’s sleep.  The stiffness tends to be most prominent when the elbow is fully straightened. Please be aware that it may also occur when the elbow is nearly bent as well.
  • Weakness while trying to grip. This will most always be associated with pain.
  • If there is an acute injury, swelling will become apparent
  • If the ulnar nerve (funny bone nerve) becomes irritated, tingling, numbness and pain will reach down into the fingers. Thankfully, this is uncommon, and is not directly a result of golfer’s elbow.

Treatment plan for Golfer's Elbow at United Joint & Spine Center

The goal of treatment:

  • United Joint & Spine Center will have a thorough consultation that will provide you with a treatment plan and protocols that are specifically designed for you and your diagnosis
  • Once identified, we will begin to treat the cause (which is usually poor technique or overuse) 
  • Reduce the irritation and pain
  • Advance the healing process
  •  Strengthen the tendons and muscles to prevent any recurrence 

Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis)

What is Tennis Elbow?

Tennis elbow occurs when there are complications with the tendon called the “extensor carpi radialis brevis muscle tendon”. I know, a very long name for such a tiny area of the arm! This tendon attaches to the outside part of the elbow area called the “lateral epicondyle”. Giving tennis elbow the medical term “lateral epicondylitis”. As you can see, this is the opposite side of golfers elbow. This tendon is attached to the muscle that is responsible for cocking the wrist back which is known as wrist extension(s). It is very important to understand that tennis elbow is not just inflammation on the tendon. Rather, this is a result of repetitive use. Understanding that incompletely healed microscopic tears that develop within the tendon will lead to a degenerative process also known as ” wear and tear” and future pain and tenderness felt at the outside of the elbow will occur.

Who suffers from Tennis Elbow?

While tennis elbow at times may occur on its own, there are 2 groups of people that are particularly vulnerable to developing this condition:

Sports Participants: A third of amateur tennis players will experience tennis elbow at some point in their careers. Furthermore to racquet sports, tennis elbow is also seen in golfers, fencers, and other sports participants.

AND…..

Manual Laborers: People who work mainly with their hands are at great risk of developing tennis elbow. Jobs that could lead to tennis elbow include painters, gardeners, plumbers, tile setters and carpenters.

On occasions but a less common culprit, a trauma that has a direct hit to the elbow can lead to tendon swelling and in result can create tennis elbow.

Common Symptoms of Tennis Elbow

  • An aching and/or burning pain on the outside of the elbow that is worsened by lifting or gripping

  • Weak grip strength in general

  • Pain begins at the elbow, but then may spread to the forearm

  • Lack of ability to carry objects, straighten or flex your arm 

  • Swelling or significant bruising around the joint or arm

  • Elbow pain that is on going beyond a few days

  • Elbow pain that occurs at night or while sleeping

  • Any other unusual symptoms….

Treatment plan for Tennis Elbow at United Joint & Spine Center

The goal of treatment:

  • United Joint & Spine Center will have a thorough consultation that will provide you with a treatment plan and protocols that are specifically designed for you and your diagnosis

  • Strengthen the tendons and muscles to prevent any recurrence 

  • Advance the healing process

  • Reduce the irritation and pain

  • Once identified, we will begin to treat the cause 

The pain associated with tennis elbow usually has a slow onset, but it may also come on suddenly.  Pain can be highly variable too. This can range from very mild, moderate to severe and debilitating. Each and every patient is unique therefore, your care should be too. At United Joint and Spine Center, we are here to provide you the best quality care for your specific needs. No 2 treatment plans or protocols are alike. 

Let United Joint & Spine Center help you

Living in pain is a waste of time!! Why stop what you love to do if Dr. DeMaio can get you on the road to recovery! At United Joint and Spine Center, Dr. DeMaio will begin by a consultation and follow up with a thorough exam. This will allow her to determine the best treatment plan/ protocols that best fits your needs. You are Unique, your care should be too! Give our office a call so we can get you pain free! 

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