Tennis Elbow vs Golfer's Elbow

Although the name suggests Tennis and Golf, the fact is you don’t need to play either sports to experience the symptoms of Tennis or Golfer’s Elbow. Simply put, anyone can get these injuries due to any overuse of the tendon with repetitive movements at the wrist, including professions in mechanics, auto-workers, plumbers, carpenters, painters, cooks, etc. 

Image source: Regenerative Therapy Centre

The main cause of this condition is the overly repeated motions which causes microscopic tears in the tissues resulting in inflammation, swelling and pain around the elbow. The main difference between Tennis and Golfer’s Elbow is that Tennis Elbow affects the outside of the elbow while Golfer’s Elbow can feel the effects on the inside of the elbow. 

Tennis Elbow, or Lateral Epicondylitis, affects the outside of the elbow which is caused by repetitive wrist extension, which can create damage to the tendons of the forearm. Anyone who take part in activities that require repetitive gripping, especially using the thumb and the first two fingers, can get tennis elbow. For instance, racquet sports, throwing sports (baseball or football), weight lifting, and gardening are among some of the more common activities that can lead to tennis elbow. 


  • Pain when you try to grip something or lift and object
  • Discomfort when opening a door
  • Soreness when shaking one's hand
  • Difficulty to raise your hand or straighten your wrist
  • Tenderness in the bony knob on the outside of your elbow

Golfer's Elbow, Medial Epicondylitis, affects the inside of the elbow that's caused by repetitive wrist flexion. The pain of Golfer's Elbow may spread to your forearm and wrist.

On or off the course, you can experience pain in the elbow. If you take part in any activity for more than two hours that requires swinging, throwing or gripping, especially if you use your wrist or fingers. E.g. Golf, racquet sports, fencing, weight lifting, computer use, etc. 

Most cases of tennis and golfer's elbow may be alleviated without surgery by combining rest, anti-inflammatory medication, physical or massage therapy, and elbow bracing. If the elbow pain does not go away after 6-12 months of treatment recommended by your physician, surgery procedure may need to be performed to remove the damaged tissue and reattach healthy muscle tissue back into the elbow joint and bone. In usual cases, the expected recovery time is about 6 to 12 months. 

In order to prevent further re-injury, the number one piece of advice is to wear proper bracing, followed by massage therapy on a regular basis to alleviate pain. Listen to your body and give your body the rest it needs to slowly recover. If the pain doesn’t subside, consult your physician to assess whether or not you are using the right gear. Work with a physical therapist on exercises and stretches to keep your tendons healthy. Always wear proper bracing for support and compression and use heat and ice if inflammation or swelling occurs. You can find Bracoo’s elbow braces here