Both of these conditions are similar in their presentation, with the exception of location. Golfer’s elbow, or medial epicondylitis, occurs at the boney area on the inside of the elbow and tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, occurs on the outside of the elbow.
They are both due to repetitive overuse in which the tendons that insert on these boney areas develop microtears due to constant strain. The body naturally becomes inflamed and scar tissue is laid down in place of the tears to ‘patch up’ the area. Scar tissue, being a tough, dense, inelastic form of tissue binds and restricts these tendons, causing further stress on the tissues.
Very often general stretching and ice is not enough to permanently resolve the issue. Active Release Technique® and Graston Technique® must be used to breakdown the specific areas of scarring. These conditions are not exclusive to golfer’s and racquet sports players. Rowers, paddlers, manual laborers (plumbers, painters, gardeners, and carpenters), even typists or pianists are subject to this condition.