Golfer’s elbow

Golfer’s elbow, also known as medical epicondylitis, is a form of tendinitis similar to tennis elbow. Golfing is one of many sources of the affliction, which can result from any activity leading to overuse of the muscles and tendons of the forearm. While the painful sensation at the elbow is similar to tennis elbow, in the case of golfer’s elbow the pain and inflammation occur at the inside (or medial side) of the joint.

The medial epicondyle is a bony prominence on the inside of the elbow. It is the insertion point for muscles used to bend the wrist downward. Forceful, repetitive bending of the fingers and wrist can lead to small ruptures of the muscle and tendon in this area. While the golfing swing produces a tightening in the flexor muscles and tendons they can lead to medial epicondylitis, other activities can produce the same injury.

Case of injury

Sudden trauma or blow to the elbow. Repetitive stress to the flexor muscles and tendons of the forearm. Repeated stress placed on the arm during the acceleration phase of the throwing motion. Underlying health issues including neck problems, rheumatism, arthritis or gout.

Signs and symptoms

Tenderness and pain at the medial epicondyle, which worsens when the wrist is flexed. Pain resulting from lifting or grasping objects. Difficulty extending the forearm.

Complications if left unattended 

Golfer’s elbow, while generally alleviated by proper rest, can cause increasing pain and unpleasantness if the stressful activity continues. The condition rarely requires surgery and responds well to proper rehabilitation. Should surgery be required, scar tissue is removed from the elbow where the tendons attach.

Immediate treatment

Avoidance of the elbow. RICER regimen for 48-72 hours following the injury. Use of anti-inflammatory drugs and analgesics.

Rehabilitation and prevention

In the case of golfing, the affliction can be reduced in severity or prevented altogether through attention to proper technique and attention to overuse. Golfer’s elbow is more prevalent early in the golf season, when muscles and tendons are not yet sufficiently conditioned. Rehabilitation generally involves avoiding the painful activity for a period. Use of analgesics for pain and anti-inflammatory drugs help reduce symptoms. After healing, resistive exercises may be undertaken to improve strength.

Long-term prognosis

Those suffering from golfer’s elbow generally make a full recovery without surgery or advanced medical care, provided the injured elbow is afforded proper rest from the stressful activity.

Golfer’s Elbow massage Watford

Sport’s massage therapy has been shown to be effective in the short and long-term management of Golfer’s Elbow. Aims to achieve:

  • Reduction of elbow pain.

  • Facilitation of tissue repair.

  • Restoration of normal joint range of motion and function.

  • Restoration of normal muscle length, strength and movement patterns.

  • Normalisation of your upper limb neurodynamics.

  • Normalisation of cervical joint function.

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