What is Golfer’s Elbow?
Golfer’s elbow is the common term for ‘medial epicondylalgia,’ which means pain over the area of the medial epicondyle. The medial epicondyle is a bony prominence on the inner (or medial) side of the elbow and is the origin of the muscles responsible for bending your wrist forwards (called the wrist flexors).
The pain in golfer’s elbow arises when the tendons that join the wrist flexor muscles to the medial epicondyle become damaged due to muscle overload. The tendon structure itself can become abnormal, causing pain.
It is important to get your elbow pain checked out early to prevent further damage to your tendon and to allow you to get back to the activities you enjoy.
Onset and Common Causes of Gofler’s Elbow:
Tennis elbow doesn’t just occur in golfers. It also commonly occurs following activities that involve loaded and repeated gripping and/or wrist flexion including:
• Sports: tennis, squash and badminton
• Occupations and hobbies: carpentry, bricklaying, sewing, knitting and computer use
The onset of pain commonly occurs gradually after completing an activity that you don’t normally do (e.g. spending a weekend using a screwdriver or a hammer). If you are a golfer, recently changing grip or clubs can alter the load on your forearm enough to make pain arise.
Golfer’s elbow pain can also occur suddenly, most commonly after a once-off incident involving the wrist flexor muscles (e.g. lifting something heavy), or performing a golfer swing shot with high force and poor technique (which excessively loads the wrist flexor muscles).
Symptoms of Golfer’s Elbow:
Symptoms of golfer’s elbow include:
• Pain over the medial epicondyle (inner aspect of your elbow) that could be of gradual or sudden onset
• Pain increases when the area is touched or pushed on
• Pain increases with resisted wrist flexion and resisted finger flexion (curling fingers)
• Pain increases with gripping something when your elbow is straight and your hand is facing up
Assessment of Tennis Elbow:
You All Care Physiotherapist will ask you a series of questions about the onset and behaviour of your pain, any activities you do and will get a short history of your pain to date. They will then complete a comprehensive assessment that may include:
• Range of movement of your elbow, wrist, neck and upper back
• Ligament tests
• Nerve movement tests
• Grip and forearm muscle strength
• Muscle length
Treatment for Tennis Elbow:
Treatment for tennis elbow can include:
• Advice and education on your condition and ways that you can help to manage the load on your tendons through minimizing activity and changing your set up at work or during your hobbies and how to self-manage your condition
• Course of anti-inflammatory
• Muscle strengthening program
• Joint mobilizations
• Soft tissue massage
• Dry needling
What Can You Do to Help?
Two things that you can do to help are:
1. Stopping aggravating activities:
• This gives your tendon time to rest and heal.
• It is important to make sure that when you re-commence the activity that it is painfree.
2.Isometric (no movement) Wrist Flexion:
• Turn the hand on your painful side over so that your palm is facing up.
• Place the other hand on top.
• Attempt to bend the hand on your painful side up towards you, but gently stop this movement with your other hand so there is no movement. You should feel your muscles working on your painful side but this should not be painful.
To get control your elbow pain, call All Care Physiotherapy today on 1300 291 133 and get back to the activities you enjoy!
All Care Physiotherapy