Golfer’s Elbow

By Robert Lim, PTA

Golfer’s Elbow

"Golfer’s

What is Golfers Elbow?

Quick answer, golfer’s elbow, also known as medial epicondylitis, can be debilitating to one’s golf game and lifestyle. This condition occurs when the tendons that attach to medial epicondyle become inflamed from either overworking or an acute injury. These tendons are the prime movers of wrist flexion which is a component of one’s golf swing.

Golfer’s elbow is not limited to the sport of golf. This condition can occur in racquet sports like as tennis as well. Individuals at a higher risk include those that are over 40 years old, perform repetitive activities for more than 2 hours a day, are obese, or are a smoker.

Golfer’s elbow can present with many symptoms such as pain and tenderness, stiffness, weakness, numbness, and tingling. Symptoms can not only hinder one’s golf swing, but also can hinder everyday activities such as carrying groceries, opening a jar in the kitchen, and using a screwdriver or hammer for household projects.

What are the Symptoms of Golfer’s Elbow

The most common symptom of golfers elbow is pain along the palm side of the forearm that moves along the elbow to the wrist. Discomfort maybe present when bending the wrist towards the palm or when squeezing an object. Other symptoms that maybe present are tenderness on the inside part of the elbow with palpation. You may also feel stiffness with decreased range of motion. Lastly you also might have weakness in your hands and wrist.

Golfers elbow can affect your golf game

Golfers elbow is treated at JOI and JOI Rehab

Will Golfers Elbow Heal on its Own?

Ideally yes. Golfers elbow should heal on its own if you are good to it. Since golfers elbow is a repetitive strain injury the way that you can heal it is rest and just pure healing time. The best thing to do is to avoid the motion that causes pain. Once the pain and discomfort start to decrease, it’s advisable to slowly return to activity.

 

Will a Golfers Elbow Brace Work?

Wearing a golfers elbow brace helps alleviate pain

A golf elbow brace is worn to reduce pain

Golf elbow braces may or may not work for each individual. Since there are multiple types of braces on the market, you might have to try each one that works for you. For braces to work properly, they must fit and be placed correctly to help decrease pain in the area.

BEST EXERCISES FOR GOLFERS ELBOW

Golfer’s elbow exercises – Stretching and strengthening

Stretching and strengthening is an important part of the rehabilitation process and should begin as soon as pain allows.

 

Wrist Flexor Stretch

Wrist Flexor Stretch helps with pain from golfers elbow

Wrist Flexor Stretch

  1. Hold stretches for 10 – 15 seconds
  2. Stretches should be held for up to 40 seconds.
  3. Repeat stretches 5 times and aims to stretch at least three times a day

 

Isometric Wrist Strengthening (extension)

Isometric Wrist Strengthening (extension) exercise for golfer elbow pain

Isometric Wrist Strengthening (extension)

  1. While seated, place your affected forearm on a table or the arm of a chair with your palm facing down.
  2. Place your opposite hand on the back of your affected hand.
  3. Press your affected hand up, using your opposite hand to create resistance by pressing down.
  4. Continue for 10 seconds, slowly increasing the resistance.
  5. Complete 15 reps.

Isometric Wrist Strengthening (flexion)

Isometric Wrist Strengthening (flexion) exercise for golfer's elbow pain

Isometric Wrist Strengthening (flexion)

  1. While seated, rest your affected forearm on a table or the arm of a chair with your palm facing up.
  2. Press your opposite palm into your affected hand.
  3. Press your affected hand upwards as you use your opposite hand to create resistance by pressing down.
  4. Continue for 10 seconds, slowly increasing the resistance.
  5. Complete 15 reps.

 

Resisted Wrist Extension

Resisted Wrist Extension exercises for golfer elbow pain

Resisted Wrist Extension

  1. While seated, hold a weight (start off light) with your affected arm.
  2. Place your forearm on a table or the arm of a chair with your hand over the edge and your palm facing down.
  3. Slowly lower your hand down before raising it back to the original position.
  4. Complete 1–3 sets of 15 reps.

 

Resisted Wrist Flexion

Resisted Wrist Flexion helps with golfers elbow pain

Resisted Wrist Flexion

  1. While seated, hold a weight ( start off light ) with your affected arm.
  2. Place your forearm on a table or the arm of a chair with your hand over the edge and your palm facing up.
  3. Slowly lower your hand down before raising it back to the original position.
  4. Complete 1–3 sets of 15 reps.

 

Treatment for Golfer’s Elbow

Treatment for Golfer’s elbow consists of rest, ice, anti-inflammatory medications, or other non-conventional modalities such as medical laser. Once severe symptoms begin to decrease the focus of treatment turns to stretch and strengthening the wrist flexor tendons. When symptoms and/or medical clearance allows the next goal is easing back into your activity. Initially one should find a way to decrease the load on the elbow with these activities by using an ace bandage or some sort of compression garment.

As symptoms allow one can gradually ease of dependence of this garment. The focus of reduced risk of Golfer’s elbow is much like the treatment. Prevention should consist of specific strengthening of the tendons that flex and extend the wrist and stretching the specific stretching of the tendons that flex and extend the wrist. Additional stretching before extended activities is very important as well.

 

JOI Rehab

Whether you are suffering from elbow issues, joint pain, or injuries resulting from any type of activity, JOI has 12 physical therapy clinics conveniently located in Jacksonville and Northeast FL who specialize in orthopedic rehab.

If you are interested in scheduling an appointment at JOI Rehab for physical therapy, call (904) 858-7045. Come see us!

Book An Appointment with a JOI Physician today.

Book An Appointment with a JOI Physician.


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