Massage for Golfer’s Elbow or Medial Epicondylitis, Tennis Elbow or Lateral Epicondylitis in Santa Barbara, Ca.

What is Golfer’s Elbow or Medial Epicondylitis

Medial epicondylitis, or “golfer’s elbow,” is an inflammation of the tendons that attach your forearm muscles to the inside of the bone at your elbow. Medial epicondylitis is a type of tendinitis, a condition marked by inflammation or irritation of a tendon. In the case of medial epicondylitis, overuse or injury causes small tears in the tendon that connects the elbow to the wrist. These tears cause swelling of the tendon and pain.

A person with medial epicondylitis typically experiences pain when they bend the wrist toward the forearm.

Often referred to as a golfer’s elbow, this condition may affect anyone who performs an activity that puts a continual strain on the wrist and forearm.

Symptoms of medial epicondylitis may develop slowly, particularly when the condition has been brought on by overuse. Other people may develop symptoms suddenly, especially in the event of injury.

Symptoms associated with medial epicondylitis may be mild or severe. Some include:

  • pain when flexing the wrist toward the forearm
  • pain that extends from the inside of the elbow through the wrist to the pinky
  • a weak grip
  • pain when shaking hands
  • difficulty moving the elbow
  • a tingling sensation extending from the elbow to the ring and pinky fingers
  • a stiff elbow
  • a weakened wrist

Causes and risk factors

Overuse of the tendon is one of the most common causes of medial epicondylitis. Small tears to the tendon can occur after repeated activity. Over time, these tears can lead to swelling and pain.

Medial epicondylitis regularly affects athletes, and people who play the following sports are at a higher risk of developing the condition:

  • golf
  • tennis, racquetball, handball, or squash
  • weight lifting
  • baseball
  • rowing

Others may be at risk because of activities performed at work. Any activity that involves continual twisting or bending of the wrist may put a strain on the tendon.

People in high-risk occupations include:

  • butchers
  • plumbers
  • construction workers
  • regular computer users
  • assembly line workers
  • cooks
  • painters
Can you have golfers and tennis elbow at the same time?
It is possible to get both Tennis and Golfer’s elbow at the same time. Left alone the symptoms of “epicondylitis” will often resolve or become dramatically worse over time. Unfortunately, the timeframe for recovery is often some months, recovery is not universal and may only be partial.
Is a golfer’s elbow the same as a tennis elbow?
Location: The main difference between tennis and a golfer’s elbow is the location of the inflammation. Tennis elbow links with inflammation around the outside the elbow and forearm areas, while golfer’s area comes with inflammation on the inner side of the arm and elbow.
How long does it take to recover from medial epicondylitis?
It can take up to six months to get back to sports and other high-level activities.
How do you get rid of golfers’ elbow fast?
  1. Rest. Put your golf game or other repetitive activities on hold until the pain is gone. …
  2. Ice the affected area. Apply ice packs to your elbow for 15 to 20 minutes at a time, three to four times a day for several days. …
  3. Use a brace. …
  4. Stretch and strengthen the affected area.

How long does Golfers Elbow take to heal?
Conservative treatments usually work for a golfer’s elbow. But if you’re still having pain after three to six months, you may need surgery. These procedures can remove damaged parts of a tendon, promote healing, and reduce pain. Full recovery may take three to six months.
Does the golfer’s elbow ever go away?
This means that symptoms can sometimes go away for a while, or you might not notice any symptoms until your condition gets worse. Sometimes, a golfer’s elbow or tennis elbow can go away on their own, but you should see a healthcare provider if your condition gets worse or does not get better. In cases where the tendon is inflamed, conservative treatment is usually only needed for three to four weeks. When symptoms are from tendinosis, healing can take longer, usually up to three months. If the tendinosis is chronic and severe, complete healing can take up to six months.
Will the golfer’s elbow heal on its own?
The good news is that the golfer’s elbow often heals on its own. Since it is a repetitive strain injury, the main factor affecting your healing is time away from the repetitive motion that caused the problem.
What exercises can I do for golfers’ elbows?
  • Stretch the affected arm out in front of you, with your palm facing upwards.
  • Relax your wrist, allowing your hand to rest and fall back.
  • Using your other hand, pull the affected hand back and towards your body.
  • Hold the stretch for about 30 to 45 seconds.
  • Have a break (about 30 seconds).
  • Repeat three times.
Why does the inside of my elbow hurt to extend?
The most common cause of elbow pain is inflammation of one or both of the elbow’s two tendons. This is called tendinitis, and it is often the result of overuse. “Repetitive movements from everyday work, household chores, golf, or tennis can affect the muscles above and below the elbow and cause tendinitis.
Why do I keep getting golfer’s elbow?
Golfer’s elbow, also known as medial epicondylitis, is caused by damage to the muscles and tendons that control your wrist and fingers. The damage is typically related to excess or repeated stress — especially forceful wrist and finger motions.
How do you sleep with golfers’ elbows?
To avoid putting strain on your elbow while recovering from tennis elbow, you should sleep on your back and try to keep your arms in a straighter, more natural relaxed position. It helps to prop up each arm on pillows on either side of you.

Golfer’s Elbow Exercises


Don’t Use Ice to Treat Your Tennis Elbow! (Really) Opinions vary! ICE vs HEAT

Don’t Use Ice to Treat Your Tennis Elbow! (Really)

Ice or heat for tennis elbow is a great short-term way to treat the symptoms of lateral epicondylitis and allow you to participate fully in your normal day-to-day activities or sports. Find out how to use hot and cold therapy to treat pain, stiffness, and swelling that results from tennis elbow.

How Hot and Cold Therapy Helps

Tennis elbow is most often caused by repetitive motion that leads to tendon strain of the outside muscles of the elbow. These movements are often performed during sports like golf and tennis. Both hot and cold therapy provide unique benefits for tennis elbow to promote recovery with enhanced blood circulation. Another great benefit is decreasing reliance on over-the-counter pain medications that come with possible side effects, such as ibuprofen.  Keep reading to learn the distinct benefits of each.

Cold Therapy for Tennis Elbow

Addressing tennis elbow with ice is a great cost-efficient anti-inflammatory modality to address pain and swelling.

How Does Cold Therapy Work?

The benefits of cold therapy are straightforward. Placing ice on an injured area constricts blood flow to the area and results in a therapeutic numbness for both pain and swelling relief. There are three stages of cold:  aching, burning, and fully cold. Make sure you get to the third stage before removing ice, but don’t keep it on too long after (15 to 20 minutes) to prevent frostbite and unnecessary discomfort. 

When to Use Cold Therapy

Cold therapy is a great option for addressing a new injury or aggravation of an injury. It can keep your symptoms of elbow pain and swelling under control to be able to better manage your daily activities. Apply it every few hours for up to 20 minutes immediately after an injury or with the onset of new pain. You can also use it preventively after a workout or elbow treatment that you know might cause some soreness later.

Tennis Elbow Stretches

Ways to Apply Cold Therapy

There are several different options for applying cold therapy. These include the use of a cold pack, an ice massage with a frozen cup, a compression sleeve with ice, or an ice bath. No matter the option, make sure it is cold to provide adequate pain relief. Using a thick towel as a protective barrier or a lukewarm bath will not create the therapeutic benefits of icing that you’re looking for.

Heat Therapy for Tennis Elbow

Applying heat to a sore elbow can be a great option for the recovery process.

Although applying cold to your elbow will help alleviate some pain, heat is better for the long-term care of tennis elbow. Why? Heat actually promotes the flow of blood in your body by relaxing and expanding your muscles. That extra blood flow will help strengthen the healing process and promote an elbow that is relatively free of pain in a short period of time.

Cold is best utilized as a temporary solution, one that you use immediately after noticing symptoms. It will help immediately bring down the swelling associated with tennis elbow and help you feel better more quickly than heat. However, cold treatments should be limited to just a few days after the initial injury and should only be applied for half an hour or less at a time. In that way, you’ll frostbite.

How Does Heat Therapy Work?

Applying heat to the elbow can help combat stiffness and pain associated with the injury. Heat in the area leads to dilation of the surrounding blood vessels, allowing more circulation for healing and promoting muscle relaxation.

When to Use Heat Therapy

Heat is a superb way to increase relaxation before activities like massage, stretching, or exercise. Use it for 15 to 20 minutes throughout the day (ideally every few hours) to decrease tension and improve the elbow’s ability to heal.

Ways to Apply Heat Therapy

There are several different options for heat therapy. These include a heating pad, hot water bottle, whirlpool (or bath), hot shower, and infrared therapy applied directly to the forearm muscles. If you’re not sure which option is best for you, moist heat is the best because it can get the deepest into the muscles. If you seek physical therapy care, there are also other light therapy and ultrasound options for deeper heating. What temperature works best for you depends on your tolerance for heat and how much time you have. Adjust each option accordingly.

When to Avoid Heat and Cold Therapy

Contraindications for cold or hot therapy include:

  • Poor sensation
  • Cold or heat sensitivity
  • High blood pressure
  • Vascular (circulatory) compromise
  • Unmanaged heart disease
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Multiple Sclerosis (heat)
  • Open wounds
  • Dermatitis
  • Deep vein thrombosis (blood clot)

Outside of these issues, typically alternating between hot and cold therapy is optimal for a tennis elbow injury. This is because overuse-type injuries (tendinitis of elbow muscles in this case) respond well to both types of treatment.

Why Not Use Heat Constantly?

People who put heat on their elbows for longer than 15-30 minutes a day run the risk of causing damage to their skin and their muscles. Remember: even if heat is helping the blood flow to your injury, it’s also affecting the muscles in other ways. The heat of a heating pad may cause a painful skin burn that will require medical attention.

They can also cause the muscles in your injury to expand too much. This will have the effect of actually exasperating your injury and causing more problems than it is worth. Avoid this by limiting your exposure to heat. Even if you really feel better after the treatment period, it’s best to play it safe by avoiding injury.

Taking Precautions with Ice or Heat Therapy

If you are unsure which options are right (or safe) for you, talk to a sports medicine doctor or your physical therapist. They can educate you and give you the best home treatment options. When using either heat or cold at home, always pay close attention to your skin and make sure you remove it immediately if you experience any sensations related to frostbite or burning. There is a big difference between discomfort and causing damage. Pairing hot and cold therapy with other recovery options will ultimately help maximize the healing process!

What is Tennis Elbow or Lateral Epicondylitis

Lateral epicondylitis, or “tennis elbow,” is an inflammation of the tendons that join the forearm muscles on the outside of the elbow.

Tennis Elbow doesn’t develop without a reason. But, most people who develop tennis elbow have difficulty figuring out why it developed in the first place. Getting rid of it is possible with the right treatment. But if you want to keep it away, and not be treating yourself forever, it’s important to figure out what is triggering it in the first place. Whether it’s from locking your elbow for long periods while at the computer, if you’ve been sleeping with your arm twisted, or if it’s because of a new sport, you need to identify the cause and make a change to remove the aggravation.

What causes the tennis elbow to flare up?
The cause is repeated contraction of the forearm muscles that you use to straighten and raise your hand and wrist. The repeated motions and stress to the tissue may result in a series of tiny tears in the tendons that attach the forearm muscles to the bony prominence at the outside of your elbow.
What is the best treatment for lateral epicondylitis?
The following interventions are probably helpful for lateral epicondylitis: watchful waiting, short-term topical NSAIDs, corticosteroid injection (short-term relief), exercise regimens, NSAID iontophoresis, and ultrasonography.
Which is worse tennis elbow or a golfer’s elbow?
On the most basic level, the Tennis Elbow presents as pain on the outside of your elbow, and the Golfer’s Elbow presents as pain on the inside of your elbow. Neither is tied to a specific injury and both tend to gradually get worse as time goes on.
What happens if the tennis elbow is left untreated?
Tennis elbow most commonly affects people between the ages of 30 to 50. People may often attribute the pain to growing older and hope that by ignoring it, the pain will go away. However, if left untreated, a tennis elbow can progress into a debilitating injury that could eventually require surgery.
How do you fix lateral epicondylitis?
Types of treatment that help are:
  1. Icing the elbow to reduce pain and swelling. …
  2. Using an elbow strap to protect the injured tendon from further strain.
  3. Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin, to help with pain and swelling.
How do you rehab lateral epicondylitis?
  1. bend the elbow at a right angle.
  2. extend the hand outwards, palm facing up.
  3. twist the wrist around gradually, until the palm is facing down.
  4. hold the position for 5 seconds.
  5. repeat nine more times.
  6. do two more sets of 10 repetitions.
What is the best support for tennis elbow?
The 5 Best Tennis Elbow Straps
  • Basic Strap: Mueller Hg80 Tennis Elbow Brace. BUY NOW. …
  • Classic Strap: Rolyan Neoprene Tennis Elbow Strap. BUY NOW. …
  • Strap and Sleeve: Rolyan Neoprene Elbow Sleeve with Strap. BUY NOW. …
  • Premium Material Strap: Cramer Tennis Elbow Strap. …
  • Strap and Ice Pack: Rolyan Gel/Air Elbow Support Universal.
Can a chiropractor fix a tennis elbow?
Because of the whole-body improvements that chiropractic brings about, it’s a great way to find relief from the pain of the tennis elbow. A chiropractic adjustment in Charlotte will help improve brain-body communication and decrease inflammation throughout the body.
What can be mistaken for tennis elbow?
False Tennis Elbow can be further categorized into;
  • Cervical radiculopathy (Cervical referred pain)
  • Ligamentous instability (Ligament laxity)
  • Intra-articular pathology (Elbow joint movement dysfunction)
  • Posterior interosseous nerve entrapment (Nerve is pinched by surrounding structures of the elbow)
Where is the pressure point for the tennis elbow?
Shou San Li (LI10) is located on the outer surface of the forearm and three fingers breadth below the elbow crease when the elbow is bent 90 degrees. To use acupressure on this point, (1) locate the point then (2) use deep, firm pressure to massage and stimulate the area for 4-5 seconds.
What is a natural remedy for elbow pain?
For relief of elbow pain, the home remedies of rest, ice packs, and compression of the joint area are usually recommended by many clinicians. Ginger tea, heating pads, and massage may be used to relieve symptoms of elbow pain. Consult a doctor before using any home remedies or herbal supplements.
Is CBD oil good for tennis elbow?
Among all these ways, CBD plays an important role. CBD salve tennis elbow shows better results for the treatment of tennis elbow condition. The elbow is attached to several ligaments, bones, muscles, and tendons. The most common reason for elbow pain is irritation of at least one of the elbow’s tendons.

Tennis Elbow Exercises

Massage for Golfer’s Elbow or Medial Epicondylitis, Tennis Elbow or Lateral Epicondylitis

Is massage good for tennis elbow?
Deep tissue massage to the forearm is a very effective method of easing the tennis elbow and healing it much faster than rest alone. Deep tissue massage will enhance circulation and by combining this with friction therapy to the tendons on the elbow joint, positive results are seen.
Is massage good for golfers’ elbows?
Cross-friction massage, can help you to recover from a golfer’s elbow much faster than just by resting. By applying it to the tendon, it can help to stimulate the healing process. Massaging the forearm muscles can also improve their function. It also decreases the tension on your inflamed tendons.
Treatment for muscle and tendon overuse and repetitive strain injuries calls for soft-tissue experts, and massage therapists are uniquely suited and extensively trained to address these exact conditions. Your massage therapist will evaluate the level of tenderness at the elbow, as well as any pain or dysfunction in the hand, wrist, and shoulder. He or she will assess your range of motion, ask about the symptoms you have experienced, and what activities precipitate or exacerbate your pain. Your massage therapist will use this information to plan a treatment protocol to reduce or eliminate pain, restore function to your elbow joint, and allow you to return to normal activity.

Massage therapists use a variety of techniques to treat tennis or golfer’s elbow. Depending on your individual therapist’s training and experience with results, he or she may use deep tissue massage, myofascial release, active release technique, neuromuscular therapy, or acupressure. Often, your therapist will combine one or more of these approaches with cross-fiber friction and plenty of petrissages to flush out the tissue.

Other treatments

Hydrotherapy is also a popular addition to treatment for epicondylitis for its effect on blood flow to the area being addressed. Because heat increases blood flow, and cold decreases blood flow, a massage therapist can create several different environments in the tissue. For example, contrast hydrotherapy uses alternating heating and cooling of the area to “pump” blood flow, carrying away the debris of inflammation and bringing in a fresh blood supply. Some therapists will use cold application or even ice massage, to reduce pain during the massage and inflammation after. Occasionally, moist heat might be employed for a short time to create pliability in the tissue before the therapist starts deep work…heat increases blood flow, and cold decreases blood flow, a massage therapist can create several different environments in the tissue

Massage therapy for tennis or golfer’s elbow usually involves what therapists politely call “therapeutic discomfort,” and your therapist will work closely with you throughout the treatment to make sure any pressure is tolerable.

On-going care

Self-care is an integral part of your treatment and crucial to its success. With your therapist’s guidance, you can augment the effect of your in-home massage by applying heat or cold, using topical analgesics (such as Biofreeze or Tiger Balm), and performing stretching exercises.

Effective massage therapy for medial and lateral epicondylitis is an intense treatment that delivers results and requires a commitment of time and attention.

more info at:
Therapeutic Swedish Massage, Sports Massage Therapy in Santa Barbara, Goleta

*Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider.
Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.
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