Golfer’s elbow is medically known as epicondylitis. It is a condition that affects different people, not just golfers, and any activity that involves the use of the forearm, from tennis to gardening, can result in the condition. The golf swing, however, is known as the number one cause of this condition.
What Causes Golfer’s Elbow?
This condition is caused by excessive use of the muscles in the forearm that are used to rotate the arm, flex the wrist, and grip an object, say a golf club or a tennis racket. The excessive use of these muscles results in tiny tears in the tendons located inside the elbow. The condition mostly affects new golfers and people who rarely use their forearm to perform any extraneous activities or are not used to using their forearm for a prolonged period.
Symptoms and Diagnosis
Golfer’s elbow causes pain and tenderness on the elbow. This pain might also be felt on the forearm. The condition can be confused for Tennis elbow, which is more common and can affect the elbow as well. The only difference is that Tennis elbow results from damage to the tendons outside the elbow unlike in the case of Golfer’s elbow. A physical therapist can tell the difference and offer the appropriate treatment.
Golfer’s Elbow Treatment
An important part of treatment is rest. This is aimed at further injury prevention on the already injured tendons. Rest also allows adequate time for the cells to regenerate and naturally repair the damaged tendons. Anti-inflammatory medication, when can be taken, can help in getting rid of the inflammation. A strap might be necessary in some cases as it helps in easing the pressure on the tendons, and this is very effective in relieving pain. Physical therapists can help if the pain does not go away, even after several days of rest and the anti-inflammatory medication does not work to get rid of the inflammation. A therapist will assess overall flexibility, your mechanics and help you to make the pain go away, as well as prevent future reoccurrences.
All golfers should exercise their forearm muscles regularly and warm up the muscles any time they plan to hit the golf course. Stretching is the number one thing to prevent injury. Any sign of pain inside the elbow is a red flag, and needs to be monitored. If it doesn’t go away, please seek out advice from your physician.
New Beginning Physical Therapy, Inc. provides the highest level of rehabilitative care available. Our therapists are all highly trained and licensed physical therapy professionals. Our Passion is to make a dramatic, positive impact in our clients’ lives. We love what we do! Nothing could be more rewarding for us than facilitating your path to wellness. We are in Palm Desert, California, and serve the entire Coachella Valley.