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Elbow Pain


As summer approaches, many of us look forward to returning to golf or tennis.  Sometimes our enthusiasm gets the best of us and we overload the tendons in our forearm too quickly resulting in pain on either the outer side of the elbow (technically known as the lateral epicondyle) or on the inner side of the elbow (technically known as the medial epicondyle).

When pain occurs on the outer side of the elbow, it is called tennis elbow.  When pain occurs on the inner side of the elbow, it is known as golfers elbow.

A physiotherapist can assess the area as well as look at adjacent joints such as the shoulder or the wrist to identify possible causes or perpetuation factors for your current elbow pain.

The neck (technically known as the cervical spine) can also contribute or sometimes directly cause pain in the elbows or forearm.

Your physiotherapist will complete a biomedical assessment of this area to see where treatment needs to be focused.  Stiffness in a joint may be improved through:

  • manual joint mobilization or manipulation
  • soft tissue techniques around the joint, such as myofascial release
  • massage to help with adhesions
  • neural mobility exercises to ensure adequate motion

Occasionally the use of treatments such as ultrasound, interferential current (IFC), or acupuncture for pain control and to increase blood flow into the tissues may be useful.

You can discuss these options with your physiotherapist during your assessment and treatment.