By WIN Health Provider: Mandeep Singh Sethi, Physiotherapist
Golfer’s elbow, known medically as medial epicondylitis, is a form of tendonitis that causes pain and inflammation in the tendons connecting your forearm and elbow.
When you repeatedly use your wrist and arm to bend, grasp or twist things, your tendons develop tiny tears that can cause wrist, elbow and forearm pain.
You don’t have to swing a golf club to develop golfer’s elbow. You can get golfer’s elbow from swinging a tennis racquet, hefting a loaded food tray, hammering nails, or pounding away on your computer keyboard.
Left untreated, golfer’s elbow could cause permanent damage like limiting your elbow’s range of motion, causing chronic pain and weakening your grip.
Less than 1% of the population has golfer’s elbow. It affects men and women between the ages 45-64. Women are more likely than men to develop golfer’s elbow.
Approximately 90% of people with golfer’s elbow develop it doing something other than playing sports.
Golfer’s elbow usually affects your dominant arm. Symptoms usually start as a tender spot on your inner elbow. Golfer’s elbow pain can also radiate up and down your arm.
What are the symptoms of Golfer’s Elbow?
Golfer’s elbow symptoms can take weeks or months to develop. They might start with pain in your inner elbow that seems worse first thing in the morning. Other symptoms are:
Aching pain in your forearm or wrist.
Pain when you try to make a fist.
Decreased grip strength.
Tingling in your hand.
Numbness in your hand.
What’s the treatment for Golfer’s Elbow?
First, give your arm a break. Healthcare providers recommend you rest your arm for at least six weeks before playing sports or resuming the daily activities that put strain on your arm.
Other treatments are:
Using ice on your forearm.
Taking anti-inflammatory medication
Wearing a brace on your forearm
Wearing a night splint.
Consult your WIN Physiotherapist who can help you in educating about specific stretching and strengthening exercises.
Physical modalities like electro therapy, ultrasound therapy, laser, acupuncture.
Golfer’s elbow can be more than a nuisance that keeps you off the greens, away from the courts or off the job.
Talk to your WIN Physiotherapist if you have persistent elbow pain. They’ll treat the pain and recommend ways you can take care of your elbow without giving up your favourite activities!