Due to its name, a lot of people think that you need to play golf to get this injury. However, this isn’t true and it can be a common type of elbow pain regardless of whether you play golf or not.
What is Golfer’s Elbow?
The medical term for Golfer’s Elbow is Medial Epicondylitis and it is an injury or irritation due to overuse of the forearm muscle attachment on the inside of the elbow.
Site and cause of symptoms?
With the palm of the hand upwards the bony point on the inside of the elbow is normally tender and some people might experience tender points in the forearm muscles and even some pain down the inside of the forearm.
Gripping can be painful as well as activities that involve overuse of the forearm muscles or heavy lifting. Poor technique in golf, tennis or throwing sports can also aggravate these symptoms. Golfer’s Elbow is an overuse injury and usually comes on gradually.
Is pain on the inside of the elbow always Golfers Elbow?
Neck problems or neck injuries can refer pain to the elbow, even in the absence of neck pain, and therefore it is advisable to have a physiotherapist assess the problem to diagnose the cause of the problem. Once the cause is identified, treatment can target the correct area.
How can it be treated?
Physiotherapy treatment has been shown to be very effective in the treatment of Golfer’s Elbow. The physiotherapy will aim to reduce the pain, restore full range of motion, restore muscle strength and length, and stimulate tissue repair.
If the physiotherapist has found neck involvement and nerve tissue involvement, the neck will also be treated. Any reduced mobility in the neck joints, as well as reduced neurodynamics (mobility of the nerve tissue), will be restored.
The physiotherapy treatment might consist of advice on correct technique and posture, gentle elbow and neck joint mobilisations, soft tissue massage, exercise and muscle stretching prescription, neural mobilisations, taping, electrotherapy, advice on a golfer’s elbow brace and advice on other self help techniques.
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to call the team at PhysiOptima!
Therese Viljoen, Golf Specialist Physiotherapist