There are several types of tendonitis but one of the most common is tennis elbow, also called golfer’s elbow. Referred to as Lateral Epicondylitis (tennis elbow) and Medial Epicondylitis (golfer’s elbow), these conditions are caused from doing repetitive movements commonly associated with the sports of tennis and golf. This injury can also be caused by repeated daily activities like using scissors, gardening, or work involving the wrist. Although anyone can get tennis/golfer’s elbow, most people who do so are between the ages of 30 and 50.
Because tennis players and golfers rely heavily on their forearm muscles as they flex them to swing and hit the ball, they use the lateral (outside) and medial (inside) part of the elbow. When they make impact with the ball, significant force is placed on the flexed muscles and tendons. Performed in a repetitive manner, the tendons become inflamed and irritated. Small tears may form in the tendons from stress. After an extended time, these movements cause pain.
Symptoms of tendonitis start gradually and worsen as time goes on and the repeated movement continues. Specific symptoms include pain in the outer part of the elbow and burning in the area as well. There may be tenderness in the knob area of the elbow and pain may go along the upper or lower arm. A weakened grip strength may be noticed. Pain will worsen when lifting or gripping an object or raising the hand and straightening the wrist.