Golfers Elbow and Tennis Elbow

Laura McCrystal
Laura McCrystal Thursday, 25 January 2024

Golfers Elbow and Tennis Elbow

Are you struggling with elbow or forearm pain and are not sure whats causing it? Read on...

Golfers Elbow and Tennis Elbow

What is Tennis and Golfers elbow

Tennis and golfer's elbow, is a condition caused from overuse of the muscles and tendons in the
elbow joint. The most commonly affected tendon for tennis elbow is the extensor carpi radialis
brevis which you can locate on the outside of the elbow, it helps with extension of your wrist.
For golfers elbow the medial common flexor tendon on the inside of the elbow, is most
commonly affected, which helps with flexion of the wrist.

What Causes it?

Overusing the muscles and tendons around the forearm is the most common cause of tennis or
golfers elbow, also known as tendinopathy. This can occur through occupation related activity
or overuse from a sporting activity. Tiny tears can occur around the affected tendon and
inflammation can develop, which can cause soreness around the elbow during use.

Physiotherapy Treatment

Ice or anti-inflammatory medication can occasionally relieve pain, but the evidence suggests
that the best method of treatment is through loading the tendon through exercise. So that the
elbow can then withstand the load placed upon it and not go into a cycle of developing mini
tears from overuse and therefore inflammation and then pain!

How can we help at LMC Physio and Fitness

Our Physiotherapy clinics are in Rugby and Coventry.
We can provide you with a tailored bespoke program based upon what we find during our
physiotherapy assessment. This will involve strengthening exercises to fix the root cause of the
problem and may also involve soft tissue massage to loosen up the forearm muscles and
enhance circulation.
We also provide acupuncture and may advise a brace depending on your situation.
Finally, we will then give you a plan moving forward to help prevent any further issues with
your elbow in the future!

Is it really Golfers or Tennis elbow?

Finding out if you are truly suffering from tennis elbow or something else is the benefit of
seeing a physiotherapist. As there are similar conditions which can mask as tennis elbow and
based upon that, the treatment approach may change.
Other conditions which may present similar symptoms are osteoarthritis and nerve related
Osteoarthritis onset of pain is usually more gradual and may occur after activity not just during,
however a more thorough assessment is required to ensure the right diagnosis is made.

Nerve related issues involve pressure on the nerve that runs down your arm into the wrist. You may feel a tingling sensation or weakness in your arm, fingers or hand. 

My go to Golfers and Tennis elbow exercises

Wrist pronation (Golfers elbow): 

Hold a tin or dumbbell with your palms facing up in a closed fist and twist the object so your palm is now facing downwards in a slow and controlled manner.


Wrist flexion (Golfers elbow): 

A hand holding a hexagon

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Hold a tin or dumbbell with your palms facing up in a closed fist and flex your wrist up and back down to neutral in a slow and controlled manner. 

Wrist extension (Tennis elbow):

Hold a tin or dumbbell with your palms facing down in a closed fist. Extend your wrist up and slowly lower the object down. Don’t move your elbow during this movement, just the wrist!

As a guideline we generally recommend 3 sets of 10-15 reps for both these exercises! Do not start an new exercise regime without consulting a health proffesional





If you are struggling with arm or elbow pain and think it might be due to either of these conditions please get in touch. Our expert team in Rugby and Coventry would be happy to help you get to the root cause of your pain and get you on the road to recovery.

Thanks for reading!