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Tennis Elbow & Golfer’s Elbow

What Is Tennis Elbow & Golfer’s Elbow?

Tennis elbow (also called lateral epicondylitis) is the inflammation of the tendons that connect the muscles of your forearm to the outside of the elbow. Golfer’s elbow (also called medial epicondylitis) is similar but affects the tendons that connect the muscles of your forearm to the inside of the elbow. These conditions cause elbow pain from overuse. They affect more than athletes; anyone who makes repetitive arm movements may be at an increased risk, including:

  • Athletes of racket sports (tennis, squash, racquetball)

  • Golfers

  • Painters

  • Carpenters

  • Plumbers

  • Butchers


Symptoms of tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow include:

  • Pain – Pain is most often felt at the outside of the elbow (tennis elbow) or inside of the elbow (golfer’s elbow) and can radiate to the forearm.

  • Tenderness – The outside or inside of the elbow may be painful to touch.

  • Difficulty gripping – It may become difficult to grip or lift things.

Treatment Options

Lateral epicondylitis and medial epicondylitis can be treated several different ways. Your sports medicine or orthopedic provider will work closely with you to understand the severity of your injury and your goals. Together, you’ll create a plan that helps get you back to the courts, greens or back to work.

Treatment options may include:

  • Activity modification - Avoidance of stressful activities during flare up.

  • Medication – Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories and pain medications can help relieve swelling and pain.

  • Physical therapy – A physical therapist can recommend exercises to strengthen and support the injury and its surrounding muscles.

  • Injections – Corticosteroid injections may be used to quickly decrease inflammation and pain. Plasma-rich platelet injections can also promote healing in the injured tendon.

  • Surgery – If conservative treatments do not help heal your injury or relieve your pain, your provider will discuss surgical options. At Temple Health, we offer the latest advances in surgery, including minimally invasive procedures.

Your provider may also talk to you about taking a break from sports that cause pain, or modifying activities to help reduce pain and give your elbow a chance to heal.

Ready for an Appointment?

If you're experiencing signs or symptoms of tennis or golfer's elbow, schedule an appointment or call 800-TEMPLE-MED (800-836-7536) today.

Learn more about our doctors and care team who diagnose and treat tennis and golfer's elbow.