What is Golfer's Elbow?
Golfer's elbow (sometimes called medial epicondylitis) is a very similar condition to tennis elbow but it is far less common. Unlike tennis elbow, golfer's elbow causes pain in the inner elbow. Golfer's elbow involves degeneration of the tendons located at the inside of the elbow. The two main tendons involved in Golfer's elbow are attached to the Flexor Carpi Radialis muscle which bends the wrist towards the palm, and Pronator Teres muscle which turns the palm down.
What are the Signs of Golfer's Elbow?
Golfer's elbow results in pain and tenderness at the inner elbow near the bony lump at the inner elbow known as the medial epicondyle. The pain may spread down the inner forearm towards the little finger side of the wrist. The pain tends to occur with certain movements especially strong gripping, twisting and bending the wrist towards the palm. The elbow may also feel stiff especially after it has been kept still. You may also notice a loss of grip strength.
How is Golfer's Elbow Diagnosed?
Our hand therapists will perform a series of clinical tests to diagnose golfer's elbow. An ultrasound scan can also be used to confirm the diagnosis.
Golfer's Elbow Treatment
It is important to avoid the movements which caused the condition to develop. Our therapists will help you to identify which activities my have contributed to your condition and suggest ways to avoid further stress to the tendons. Treatment involves a carefully graded home exercise program which will increase the tendons capacity to transmit load without pain. Other treatment techniques may include splinting, taping, soft tissue massage, dry needling and electrical modalities. Most cases of golfer's elbow will recover with therapy alone, but occasionally corticosteroid injection is required.
What Causes Golfer's Elbow?
Despite its name golfer's elbow does not only occur in golfers. It can occur in anyone who uses excessive force to bend the wrist in the direction of the palm such as tennis players with a forceful serve. It may result from improper technique in lifting, throwing and swinging, lack of flexibility and inadequate warm up. People who perform highly repetitive or sustained gripping and wrist bending in their occupation, such as operating chainsaws and other heavy tools may also develop this condition.
Taping for Golfer's Elbow
Golfer's elbow can significantly impact your daily life but we are here to help you take proactive steps towards recovery. The earlier you start treatment for this painful condition, the better the outcome; so don't delay, call us today for an appointment.