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What is Golfer’s Elbow?

What is Golfer’s Elbow?


Golfer’s elbow, also known as medial epicondylitis, is classed as an overuse injury which affects the tendons that attach to the inside of the elbow. Golfer’s elbow is not only effecting golfers, even though the name is suggest it is only for golfers.

What are the symptoms and causes of Golfer’s elbow?

The symptoms of this kind of injury often begin gradually as a small niggle before developing into a more painful condition that, if left untreated, can lead to chronic elbow pain and limited range of motion.

Individual who suffer a Golfer’s elbow injury may experience the following symptoms:

  • Pain and tenderness along the inside of the elbow which can extend to the inner side of the forearm.
  • Stiffness in the elbow area making certain movements difficult, e.g making a fist
  • Weakness in the wrist especially when flexing the wrist downwards against resistance or by turning the wrist inwards
  • A numb or tingling feeling radiating into the fingers

Those over the age of 40, individuals who are overweight and smokers are at more of a risk of developing Golfer’s elbow. Due to the nature of the injury, it also commonly affects anyone who performs repetitive wrist flexion on a regular basis. For example, those working in manual labour and jobs that require repetitive gripping.

You can get golfer’s elbow from repeatedly bending and straightening your elbow. It can also happen if you have a repetitive and strong grip.¬†For instance, those who lift by flexing their wrist are at risk of overloading the muscles and tendons of the elbow.


Which treatments are available?

The most important step to take when initially treating a Golfer’s elbow injury is to rest. Most importantly, avoid the movement or activity which caused the pain initially. If an individual continues to use the affected area it could cause the injury to become chronic. Following onset of the injury, applying ice, taking inflammatories or applying anti-inflammatory gels may help.

You may be advised to wear a Golfer’s elbow strap as treatment. The strap offloads the tendon, therefore decreasing pain with aggravating movements. Physiotherapy treatment may include soft tissue massage, joint mobilisation, dry needling and various taping techniques. Strengthening exercises prescribed will focus on increasing strength of the forearm, and possible the upper arm and shoulder girdle.

Here at Ballsbridge Physiotherapy Clinic, our physiotherapists are experts in treating sports related injuries. At Ballsbridge, we offer a range of physiotherapy treatments. Our treatments are to help individuals get back to their chosen sports with full range of motion. If you would like to book an appointment, contact us here.

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