Golfer elbow, also known as medial epicondylitis, is a type of repetitive strain injury that affects the tendons and muscles on the inside of the elbow. It is called a golfer elbow because it is a common condition among golfers due to the repetitive wrist and arm movements involved in the sport, but it can also occur in people who perform repetitive activities such as throwing, hammering, or painting.
Causes of Golfer elbow:
The condition is caused by overuse and strain on the tendons that attach to the medial epicondyle, a bony bump on the inside of the elbow. Any activity that involves repetitive gripping, twisting, or bending of the wrist can contribute to the development of this condition, including:
- Golfing: Repetitive swinging of the golf club can strain the tendons in the elbow.
- Racquet sports: Activities like tennis, squash, and badminton involve repetitive gripping and swinging motions that can cause a golfer elbow.
- Weightlifting: Lifting heavy weights, especially with improper form or technique, can cause strain on the tendons in the elbow.
- Manual labor: Jobs that require repetitive gripping, twisting, or lifting, such as carpentry, plumbing, or painting, can lead to a golfer elbow.
- Computer work: Typing or using a mouse for extended periods of time can cause strain on the tendons in the forearm, which can lead to a golfer elbow.
- Aging: As we age, our tendons become less elastic and more prone to injury, which can increase the risk of developing a golfer elbow.
- Overall, any activity that involves repeated movements of the wrist and forearm can contribute to the development of the golfer elbow.
The signs and symptoms of a golfer’s elbow can include:
- Pain and tenderness: Pain is usually felt on the inside of the elbow and may extend to the forearm and wrist. The affected area may also be tender to the touch.
- Stiffness: The elbow may feel stiff, making it difficult to bend or straighten the arm.
- Weakness: Weakness in the wrist and forearm can occur, making it difficult to grip or carry objects.
- Numbness or tingling: Some people may experience numbness or tingling in the fingers or hand.
- Worsening pain with activity: Pain may worsen with activities that involve bending, twisting, or gripping.
- Decreased range of motion: The range of motion in the affected arm may be limited.
Self-diagnosis of golfers elbow:
if you are experiencing pain on the inside of your elbow and suspect that you may have a golfer’s elbow, here are some signs to look for:
- Pain when gripping or squeezing objects: If you experience pain when gripping or squeezing objects, such as a golf club or a racket, it may be a sign of a golfers elbow.
- Pain when bending or straightening your arm: If you experience pain when bending or straightening your arm, particularly on the inside of your elbow, it may be a sign of a golfers elbow.
- Tenderness on the inside of your elbow: If you notice tenderness when pressing on the inside of your elbow.
- Weakness in your wrist or hand: If you experience weakness in your wrist or hand, particularly when gripping or lifting objects.
Treatment may include rest, ice, physiotherapy, and pain medications. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to repair or remove damaged tissue.
Physiotherapy is often an effective treatment for a golfer’s elbow. Here are some common physiotherapy treatments:
- Ice: Applying ice to the area can help reduce pain and inflammation.
- Stretching and strengthening exercises: Our physiotherapist will recommend specific exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles and tendons in the forearm and wrist. These exercises can help improve flexibility and reduce strain on the affected area.
- Manual therapy: Our physiotherapist will use manual therapy techniques, such as myofascial release, to help alleviate pain and improve the range of motion.
- Ultrasound therapy: This involves using high-frequency sound waves to promote healing and reduce inflammation.
- Shockwave Therapy: It is a non-invasive technique to reduce tendinitis.
- High-intensity class-4 laser: It is also a non-invasive technique to improve local blood circulation and improve healing.
- Taping or bracing: Our physiotherapist may apply tape or brace to the affected area to provide support and reduce strain on the tendons.
- Ergonomic adjustments: If your golfer’s elbow is because of repetitive movements at work or during sports, Our physiotherapist may recommend ergonomic adjustments to your workstation or sports equipment to reduce strain on the affected area.