Golfers and Tennis Elbow

FAQs on Golfer’s and Tennis Elbow Treatment in Oklahoma

 

Sports involving overhead or repetitive arm movements can lead to elbow pain. Golfer’s elbow and tennis elbow are two conditions that result for arm overuse.

 

What is the elbow joint?

 

The elbow joint is formed by three bones: the humerus, ulna, and radius. The humerus is the large upper arm bone, and the radius and ulna are smaller lower forearm bones. The area where these arms joint is the elbow joint, and there are two epicondyle (rounded bumps) on this structure. These bony protrusions serve as a point of contact for the elbow joint’s connective tissue.

 

What type of joint is the elbow?

 

The elbow is considered a synovial joint, meaning it has a thin coating of articular cartilage cover the ends of these three bones. The protective capsule surrounds the joint, which is formed by the synovial membrane. Inside the joint capsule is synovial fluid, which lubricates the joint.

 

What is tennis elbow?

 

The medical term for tennis elbow is lateral epicondylitis. This type of joint injury is related to overuse of the elbow. The symptoms of tennis elbow develop over time, but a few patients report symptoms that occur following strain or injury of the elbow. Symptoms include aching pain, pain worse with activity, and pain that worsens with shaking hands, making a fist, or lifting.

 

What is golfer’s elbow?

 

Like tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow (called medial epicondylitis) usually develops over time. Patients suffering from this problem often report pain and discomfort at the inside of the elbow (medial epicondyle). The condition is also associated with joint stiffness, joint weakness, and tingling sensations that shoot down the fingers.

 

What are the causes of tennis and golfer’s elbow?

 

The most common cause of lateral and medial epicondylitis is overuse. With constant motion and activity, the muscles of the forearm are damaged. Repetitive movements of the forearm muscles from overhead arm use contributes to epicondylitis. Carpenters, plumbers, painters, and other people who work with their arms and hands can develop either of these conditions.

 

Who is at risk for epicondylitis?

 

Adults between ages 30 and 50 years of age are most likely to develop lateral epicondylitis. However, it is also more common among men.

 

How is epicondylitis treated?

 

Before devising a treatment plan, the doctor will perform a physical examination, which involves palpation of the area. Additional tests may be ordered, such as x-rays and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Treatment options include:

 

  • Medications – The patient may be given a short-course of corticosteroid drugs, such as prednisone and a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agent.

 

  • Rest – With tennis or golfer’s elbow, the arm in question should be rested for a period of time to allows the strained structures to heal.

 

  • Stem cell treatment – Stem cells are cells that undergo differentiation to form various types of cells in the body, such as blood, bone, and cartilage. These cells injected into the epicondyle regions can help heal the degeneration by generating health new cells. The body loses its ability to attract stem cells, so the doctor obtains these cells from adipose or bone marrow, concentrates it in the laboratory, and injects the solution to the elbow.

 

Does stem cell therapy work?

 

In a study involving 30 patients with tennis elbow, stem cells were injected into the area. The stem cells were obtained and processed by centrifugation. At the follow-up visits, the single injection of stem cells caused significant improvement of the symptoms.

 

Resources

Singh A, Gangwar DS, & Singh S (2014). Bone marrow injection: A novel treatment for tennis elbow. Jour Natural Science and Medicine, 5(2).

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