It is almost here… golf season! Avid golfers, recreational golfers, and social golfers are gearing up to hit the lynx… and with the start of golf season comes the start of golf injuries… golfers elbow being one of the most common ailments to sideline a golfer. So- let us explain what golfers elbow is, how to prevent it and how to treat it. Golf season is short, and we want to keep you in the game!
Another name for golfers elbow is medial epicondylitis. This is because golfers elbow is caused by overuse of the muscles that flex the wrist and rotate the forearm inwards, and the tendons of these muscles originate at the medial epicondyle on your elbow. This overuse can cause micro tears in the tendon, and cause pain, weakness and decreased functionality in the wrist.
Now- you don’t have to be a golfer to get golfers elbow. Any movement that involves the wrist, and is repetitive in nature can cause the condition.
Do I have golfers elbow?
Some commons signs and symptoms include:
- soreness to touch on the inside of the elbow joint
- a local aching pain that may be more widespread due to a high rate of nerve involvement
- pain with wrist movement and turning the forearm towards your body
- pain with regular activities such as shaking hands, carrying a suitcase, turning a doorknob, or picking something up with your palms facing down
Can a physiotherapist diagnose golfers elbow?
YES! Through an assessment and thorough testing of the muscles and pain symptoms a physiotherapist is able to diagnose (and rehabilitate) golfers elbow.
What is the course of treatment?
A physiotherapist can help manage and treat golfers elbow. Usually conservative treatment will heal this injury, but it takes time. Due to the repetitive mechanism of injury, rehabilitation requires time, activity modification, and exercises to manage. Typically it takes 6-12 months to heal.
A physiotherapy treatment plan should be catered to the individual, and therefore every intervention model and process is different. However, treatments will often include:
- ice, acupuncture, therapeutic tape or a brace
- manual therapy
- development of a specific and progressive exercise program to address flexibility, muscle imbalances, and sport/activity specific functional retraining
- fitting of equipment, assessment of golf swing or throwing mechanics, work ergonomics
- modalities- ultrasound, shockwave therapy
The sooner you can start managing golfers elbow, the quicker you will heal and be back on the course. At ALPHA, we can help, and give you preventative strategies once you have healed to prevent reoccurrence of golfers elbow.