Golfers know that there is a lot of wear and tear on the body when they hit the links.
One common injury to watch out for, especially among avid golfers, is golfer’s elbow.
This type of repetitive strain injury can be painful and cause disruption in your game if not managed properly.
In this blog post we will explore what golfer’s elbow is, how it can be diagnosed, treated, prevented and ways you can stay active with it so you don’t have to miss out on any rounds.
So grab your clubs and let’s get started learning about golfer’s elbow.
Table of Contents
What is Golfer’s Elbow?
Golfer’s elbow, also known as medial epicondylitis, is a common overuse injury that affects the tendons in the forearm.
It occurs when these tendons become inflamed and irritated due to repetitive motions of the wrist and arm during golf swings or other activities.
The pain associated with golfer’s elbow can range from mild to severe and may be felt on either side of the inner elbow joint.
The most common symptom of golfer’s elbow is a sharp pain on the inside part of your elbow that increases when you move your wrist or fingers.
Other symptoms include tenderness along the inner side of your forearm, swelling around your inner elbow joint, weakness in your grip strength, and difficulty straightening out your arm fully.
You may also experience numbness or tingling sensations in one or more fingers if there is nerve damage caused by inflammation near an affected tendon.
Golfer’s elbow is typically caused by repeated stress placed on certain muscles and tendons located in the lower arm area through activities such as golfing, tennis playing, throwing sports like baseball or football, weightlifting exercises involving bicep curls and triceps extensions using heavy weights for too long without proper rest periods between sets.
Additionally, improper technique while performing any activity which involves gripping objects tightly can lead to golfer’s elbow over time due to increased strain placed upon those muscles/tendons mentioned above.
Golfer’s elbow is a painful condition caused by overuse of the muscles and tendons in the forearm.
Proper diagnosis and treatment can help prevent further injury and allow golfers to enjoy their sport without pain.
Next, we’ll look at how to diagnose golfer’s elbow.
Diagnosing Golfer’s Elbow
Golfer’s elbow is a condition that affects the tendons and muscles in your forearm, causing pain near the inside of your elbow. It’s caused by repetitive motions like swinging a golf club, which can cause inflammation and strain on these muscles.
If you’re an avid golfer, it’s important to know how to diagnose golfer’s elbow so you can get treatment as soon as possible.
The most common symptom of golfer’s elbow is pain near the inner part of your elbow.
You may also experience weakness in your arm when gripping objects or performing certain activities such as swinging a golf club.
Other symptoms include tenderness when touching the area around your elbow joint, swelling and stiffness in the affected area, numbness or tingling sensations in your fingers and wrist, decreased range of motion with activities involving gripping objects tightly (such as opening jars).
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms it is important to see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment options.
Your doctor will likely perform a physical exam to check for signs of inflammation such as redness or warmth around the affected area.
They may also order imaging tests such as X-rays or MRI scans if they suspect there might be other underlying issues causing your pain.
Blood tests may also be ordered to rule out any other medical conditions that could be contributing factors such as arthritis or gout.
Diagnosing golfer’s elbow requires a physical examination and possibly imaging tests.
Proper diagnosis is essential for an effective treatment plan, so it is important to consult with your doctor if you suspect you have golfer’s elbow.
Next we will discuss the various treatments available for this condition.
Key Lesson: Golfer's elbow is a condition caused by repetitive motions such as swinging a golf club. Symptoms include pain near the inner part of your elbow, weakness in arm when gripping objects, tenderness when touching the area around your elbow joint, and swelling and stiffness in affected area. It is important to see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment options which may include physical therapy or medications.
Treating Golfer’s Elbow
Fortunately there are many treatment options for golfer’s elbow that don’t involve going under the knife. Or stopping golf.
Rest & Ice Therapy
Resting from activities that cause pain until it subsides completely is essential for treating golfer’s elbow successfully.
This includes taking breaks between sets during weight lifting sessions so you don’t overexert yourself unnecessarily while exercising during the recovery period (if possible).
Applying ice packs directly onto affected areas several times per day helps reduce inflammation quickly.
Doing this for 15-20 minutes at a time should suffice but make sure to wrap them up properly before applying them so they don’t stick directly onto the skin surface.
Additionally, try massaging sore spots gently with your fingertips – this will help relax tense muscles and tendons and allowing the healing process to do its thing.
Stretching & Strengthening Exercises
Stretching exercises are important for improving flexibility and reducing the chances of re-injury down the line.
Start slowly with simple stretches such as stretching arms out wide then bringing them back together again multiple times each day, gradually increasing intensity level as needed depending on how much discomfort is still present after the initial few weeks post diagnosis date (usually 4-6 weeks).
Strengthening exercises focus on strengthening weakened muscles/tendons surrounding the injured area in order to prevent future occurrences from happening once again.
Use light weights initially, then progress to heavier ones over time once your body has had a chance to adjust.
Physical therapy is one of the most effective treatments for golfer’s elbow as it helps reduce inflammation and improve strength and flexibility in the affected area.
A physical therapist will typically recommend exercises such as stretching, strengthening, massage therapy, ultrasound therapy or other modalities to help relieve symptoms associated with golfer’s elbow.
Medications may also be prescribed by your doctor to help manage pain associated with golfer’s elbow including…
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen or naproxen sodium
- Muscle relaxants
- Topical creams
- Oral medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol)
Make sure to use these medications medical supervision to reduce or eliminate any side effects or interactions with other medications.
In some cases surgery may be necessary if conservative treatments fail to provide relief from symptoms associated with golfer’s elbow.
During surgery an orthopedic surgeon will make small incisions near the tendon attachments on either side of your arm bone (humerus) in order to release tension on those tendons which relieves pressure on them allowing them heal properly without further damage occurring.
Surgery is usually done using arthroscopic techniques which minimizes scarring , reduces recovery time, and gets you back on the course quickly.
Finally, staying active despite having golfer’s elbow is important for managing its symptoms.
Low-impact exercises such as swimming, walking, and biking are recommended while avoiding any activity that causes discomfort until you fully recover from golfer’s elbow.
Additionally, wearing a compression sleeve during exercise can also help reduce inflammation caused by golfer’s elbow while providing support at the same time. I use and recommend the PowerLix Compression Elbow brace.
Proper treatment of golfer’s elbow can help reduce the pain and discomfort associated with this condition.
With proper prevention techniques, you can avoid developing golfer’s elbow in the first place.
Key Lesson: Golfer's elbow can be treated with physical therapy, medications, and in some cases surgery. To manage symptoms, low-impact exercises such as swimming and walking are recommended while wearing a compression sleeve during exercise may help reduce inflammation.
Benjamin Franklin said “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” and I wholeheartedly agree.
First and foremost, warm up before playing.
A good warm-up routine should include stretching exercises for the arms and shoulders as well as light cardio to get your heart rate up.
This will help prepare your body for the physical demands of golfing and reduce the risk of injury.
Use Proper Form
Second, use proper form when swinging your club.
Make sure you are using correct posture and technique while swinging to avoid putting too much strain on your muscles or joints.
If you need help with this, consider taking lessons from a professional instructor who can teach you how to swing correctly and safely.
Use the Right Equipment
Third, use the right equipment for your size and strength level.
Clubs that are too long or heavy can put extra stress on your arms and increase the chances of golfer’s elbow occurring in the future.
Have an expert fit you for clubs so that they are tailored specifically to meet your needs as a golfer—this could make all the difference in preventing injuries down the road.
Take Regular Breaks
Fourth, take regular breaks during playtime to give yourself time to rest between swings or holes if needed.
This will allow any tightness or soreness in your arm muscles time to dissipate before continuing play again which could reduce overall fatigue levels throughout rounds of golfing sessions over time.
Finally, don’t forget about strengthening exercises.
Strengthening exercises such as wrist curls or tricep extensions can help build muscle strength around areas prone to golfer’s elbow which may ultimately prevent it from occurring altogether.
By following these prevention tips, you can reduce the chances of developing golfer’s elbow and stay active on the golf course.
Key Lesson: Take preventative measures to avoid golfer's elbow: warm up, use proper form, get fitted for clubs, take breaks and do strengthening exercises.
What is Golfer’s Elbow FAQs
How do you fix a golfer’s elbow?
To treat golfer’s elbow, rest and ice are recommended to reduce inflammation. Stretching and strengthening exercises can help improve flexibility in the affected area. Wearing a brace or compression sleeve may also provide relief from pain and discomfort. Additionally, avoiding activities that cause strain on the affected arm can help prevent further damage to the tendons. If symptoms persist despite these treatments, it is important to seek medical advice for additional treatment options such as physical therapy or corticosteroid injections.
What is the cause of golfer’s elbow?
It occurs when the tendons that attach to the bony bump on the inside of your elbow become inflamed or irritated from too much stress. Symptoms include pain and tenderness in your inner elbow area, weakness in your hands and wrists, and a burning sensation when you move your arm. Treatment typically involves rest, ice therapy, stretching exercises for flexibility, strengthening exercises for muscles around the joint, anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen sodium (Aleve), and possibly corticosteroid injections.
How long does Golfers Elbow take to heal?
Golfer’s elbow, or medial epicondylitis, is an inflammation of the tendons in the forearm that attach to the bony bump on the inside of your elbow. The condition can cause pain and tenderness when gripping objects or bending your wrist. Recovery time for golfer’s elbow varies depending on severity and treatment methods used. Generally speaking, mild cases may take a few weeks to heal with rest and physical therapy while more severe cases may require several months of rehabilitation before full recovery is achieved. Surgery may be recommended if conservative treatments are not successful after 6-12 months.
What are symptoms of golfers elbow?
Symptoms include tenderness or pain on the inside of your elbow when gripping objects, a burning sensation in your forearm muscles, and decreased grip strength. Pain may be felt during activities such as swinging a golf club or lifting weights. In severe cases, swelling and redness around the affected area may occur. Treatment options for golfers elbow include rest from activities that aggravate symptoms, stretching exercises to strengthen arm muscles and improve flexibility, physical therapy to reduce inflammation and promote healing of tissues, ice therapy to reduce swelling and discomfort, over-the-counter medications for pain relief such as ibuprofen or naproxen sodium; corticosteroid injections; bracing; ultrasound therapy; extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT); and surgery if all other treatments fail.
Golfer’s elbow can be a frustrating injury, but with the right diagnosis and treatment plan it is possible to manage your symptoms and stay active.
Taking preventive measures such as stretching before playing golf, using proper technique when swinging, and wearing an elbow brace can help reduce the risk of golfer’s elbow.
If you are experiencing any signs or symptoms of golfer’s elbow, make sure to consult with your doctor for a personalized treatment plan that will help you get back on the course in no time.
Are you an avid golfer looking for tips and advice to help improve your game?
Suffering from pain in your elbow or forearm?
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Our expert team of professionals will provide you with all the information you need to find relief from this condition quickly so you can get back on the course faster!
Til next time, hit em straight! 🏌️♂️