Golfer’s Elbow – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Methods

Golfer’s elbow is the funny bone on the inside of the elbow. It is also called medial epicondylitis. It can occur in tennis players and other people who repeatedly grip objects tightly. The elbow is a hinge joint consisting of three bones that serve as the mechanical link between the upper arm and forearm. The primary differences between these conditions are the location of the pain and the activity that leads to injury. Golfers Elbow, or Medial Epicondylitis, affects people who rely on the use of their hands in their work, which could mean just about anyone. Golfer’s elbow can be caused by golf, as the name suggests, by constantly taking the divot with the ball, but it is far from being exclusive to golfers. Golfer’s Elbow is similar to Tennis Elbow which affects the other side of the elbow. The muscles that bend the wrist down start at this point. Forceful and repeated bending of the wrist and fingers cause tiny ruptures of the muscle and tendon to this area. Golfing is only one of the causes of pain at this bone.

Golfer’s Elbow, or Medial Epicondylitis, is a form of tendonitis. The medical names of Tennis Elbow (lateral epicondylitis) and Golfer’s Elbow (medial epicondylitis) come from the names of these bony prominences where the tendons insert, and where the inflammation causes the pain. Rarely the inflammation comes on without any definite cause, and this may be due to an arthritis, rheumatism or gout. Elbow injuries are relatively common among athletes. Adolescents and older adults are most at risk- adolescents because their bones and ligaments are still growing, and older adults because their ligaments and tendons lose normal elasticity with age. Sometimes the problem is partly or completely due to a neck problem, which is causing pain in the elbow via the nerves from the neck. This conditions typically affect people aged 35-50 years, and both men and women equally.

Causes of Golfer’s elbow

The common causes and risk factor’s of Golfer’s elbow include the following:

Overusing the flexor muscles of the forearms.

Carpenters who use hand tools on occasion.

Muscle imbalance.

Decreased flexibility.

A direct injury or bang.

Prolonged gripping activities such as hammering, driving screws, weight lifting,canoeing, digging in the garden and driving.

Symptoms of Golfer’s elbow

Some sign and symptoms related to Golfer’s elbow are as follows:

Tenderness and pain at the medial epicondyle.

Swing a golf club or racket.

Pick up something with your palm down.

Weakness in the wrist.

Pain when wrist flexion (bending the wrist palm downwards) is resisted.

Tightness of forearm muscles.

Stiffness or trouble moving the elbow or hand.

Forearm pain.

Outer-side forearm pain – the inner side is affected in tennis elbow.

Treatment of Golfer’s elbow

Here is list of the methods for treating Golfer’s elbow:

Physiotherapy treatments, which may include heat / ultrasound therapy.

Reduce the load on your elbow: Wrap your elbow with an elastic bandage or use a forearm strap.

Consider other medications: If over-the-counter pain relievers aren’t effective, your doctor may recommend a cortisone injection to reduce pain and swelling.

Electrical stimulation to ease pain and improve healing of the collagen.

Apply heat to the elbow only when you are returning to physical activity. Then use it before stretching or getting ready to play sports.

You should apply ice packs to your elbow for 20 to 30 minutes every 3 to 4 hours for 2 or 3 days or until the pain goes away.

A commonly used surgery for golfer’s elbow is called a medial epicondyle release . This surgery takes tension off the flexor tendon.