Golfers elbow is relatively common and is occurs when you overuse your elbow. It is similar to tennis elbow however affects the inside of the elbow rather than the outside as with tennis elbow. With the right management and treatment, the majority of golfers elbow cases recover within a few weeks however more severe cases may take several months if the condition is chronic.
What is Golfer’s Elbow?
Golfer’s elbow describes a condition that causes pain on the inner side of your elbow where your forearm tendons attach to the medial epicondyle- the bump on the inside of your elbow. The pain may also spread into your wrist and forearm.
What causes Golfer’s Elbow?
Golfer’s elbow is usually felt due to damage of the muscle tissue where it attaches to the arm bone at your elbow. It happens when the force being applied to the area is greater than what the normal tissue can handle.
Chronic golfer’s elbow is associated with degenerative changes in the muscles tissues around the medial epicondyle.
People typically develop golfer’s elbow due to performing activities involving repeated wrist flexion against resistance or repetitive or forceful gripping of the hand; these activities may include manual work or sports for example:
- Water skiing
What are the symptoms of Golfer’s Elbow?
Symptoms of golfer’s elbow usually develop gradually over time and may start as an ache following aggravating activities and develop into a worse pain felt locally over the area which may be worse in the morning time.
In worse cases the pain may keep you awake at night and may be incapacitating.
How is Golfer’s Elbow diagnosed?
Your physiotherapist or doctor can diagnose golfers elbow following a full subjective and objective examination as well as carrying out certain tests to identify the condition is causing the problem and to rule out other structures that may be involved.
An ultrasound or MRI scan can see if any tendons are torn or there is any inflammation.
What treatment can Farrell Physiotherapy offer for Golfer’s Elbow?
Following an in-depth assessment there are several different treatment techniques that can be used based on your symptoms and treatment plan. Treatment can include:
- Soft tissue massage
- Taping or bracing
- Joint mobilisation
- Ice or heat therapy
- Postural correction
- Progressive flexibility exercises
- Progressive strengthening exercises
- Treatment of related injuries such as neck/upper back/shoulder
- Advice and education
- Activity/sporting modification advice
- Anti-inflammatory advice
- Graded return to sporting or functional activity
- Sporting technique advice
Benefit of physiotherapy for Golfer’s Elbow?
Physiotherapy ultimately aims to alleviate any symptoms you have. The benefits you receive from physiotherapy will depend on your initial symptoms and goals.
Physiotherapy treatment for golfer’s elbow aims to:
- Reduce pain
- Improve range of movement
- Improve strength
- Normalise neurodynamics of upper limb
- Prevent the injury re-occurring