Golfer’s elbow is an overload injury of the tendon on the inside of the elbow, usually due to overuse. As its name implies, it is a condition common in golfers. However, as with all sporting injuries, this condition can affect anyone. Golfer’s elbow is similar to Tennis elbow, occurring on the inside of the elbow rather than the outside.
What are the symptoms?
Typically, someone suffering from this condition will experience pain on the inside of the elbow, forearm and possibly extending down to the hand. The pain will be worst with activities that require gripping of the hand and movements of the wrist. Less common is the experience of pins and needles in the hand.
How does it happen?
There can be many contributing factors that cause golfers elbow. Usually this is a result of the tendon not being strong enough to cope with the forces placed on it. This can be due to increased demands on the tendon, such as when you suddenly start a new sport or activity involving your upper limb that your tendon is not quite strong enough for yet. As the tendon is attached to muscles that bend the wrist and provide grip strength, activities such as golf, rock climbing or manual work that involve gripping objects can easily create forces that load the tendon.
Conversely, sometimes this tendon pain can be a result in reduced quality or strength of the tendon tissues that then impacts even normal day to day activities. This can include as poor blood supply or simply the normal processes of aging can reduce the quality of the tendon. If the tissue is not functioning well, then even simple but repetitive movements in an office job can cause Golfer’s elbow.
There are a few other known contributing factors for Golfer’s elbow, such as poor posture, neck dysfunction, a recent change in activity and a history of trauma, such as a fall onto an outstretched hand.
What is the treatment?
Golfer’s elbow usually develops slowly, and tendon healing can be a long process. The first step to effective treatment is accurate diagnosis, as many other conditions have similar symptoms and need to be excluded first by a medical professional.
Once a diagnosis of golfer’s elbow has been confirmed, treatment is aimed at allowing tissues to heal and regenerate. This will require a certain level of rest from aggravating activities, and sometimes through bracing or taping.
Specific strengthening exercises have been shown to assist tissues in coping with and responding to load which can be outlined by your physiotherapist.
If you are having ongoing neck, shoulder or arms symptoms it is important to have an accurate assessment and professional diagnosis of your symptoms in order to provide treatment and a plan to move forward with your health.
If you would like to ask questions or have an expert assess your symptoms, then contact us on 07 5448 3369, or simply book an appointment online!
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