If you are an avid golfer, you may have been the unfortunate victim of the painful condition known as “golfer’s elbow”, or as we in the medical field know it as, medial epicondylitis.
This condition develops on the inside (medial) bony aspect of your elbow where the wrist and finger flexor muscles of your forearm attach.
Golfer's elbow is caused by repetitive strain of the muscle and tendon which creates micro-tears and develops into chronic inflammation and pain.
Golfer’s elbow is similar to “tennis elbow” which is the same condition but on the outside (lateral) aspect of the elbow and affects the wrist and finger extensor muscles of the forearm.
A golfers elbow brace, also known as a counter-force brace, may be used to help alleviate this condition. But with so many braces to choose from, which is the right one for you?
Along with the various forms of treatment your doctor or therapist may prescribe to alleviate your symptoms, including:
Your MD may also recommend a counter-force brace to help alleviate the amount of strain that is put on your elbow during your golf swing. A counter-force brace is a strap that goes around your forearm just below your elbow.
Pressure is applied over the flexor muscles of the forearm which biomechanically reduces the forces pulling on the attachment site of the muscle at the elbow, thus reducing the amount of strain.
There are many different brands of golfers elbow braces which may be made with different materials and styles, but generally they serve the same purpose of alleviating strain on the flexor muscles and tendons of your forearm.
Some brands include:
These counter-force braces have a specific insert or padding (usually filled with foam, gel, air, or plastic) which goes over the target muscle area and applies direct pressure alleviates tension on the affected tendon. Most golfers elbow braces are one-size-fits-all, however some may come in different sizes to fit your forearm.
When sizing, it is best to measure around the arm just below the elbow. If you are between sizes, it is suggested that you order the smaller golfer’s elbow support.
Golfers Elbow Brace Sizing
8.5 in – 9.5 in; 21 – 24 cm.
9.5 in – 11 in; 24 – 28 cm.
11 in – 12.5 in; 28 – 32 cm.
12.5 in – 14 in; 32 – 36 cm.
Prices vary among golfers elbow braces, but the average price for a suitable brace goes for about $15 - $20.
In severe cases where hand, wrist, and elbow function have been greatly diminished, a wrist immobilizer brace may be recommended instead of the counter-force brace.
This would allow you to have some hand function but would prevent you from using your wrist. Immobilizing your wrist would allow the target muscles that are inflamed at the elbow a chance to rest and heal.
If you want to learn more about the elbow, you can watch this video.
If your golfer’s elbow pain continues, despite the use of bracing and treatment, it may be beneficial to consult an Jacksonville Orthopedic Institute physician to address your symptoms. If you have tennis elbow, elbow tendonitis, elobw pains, etc., visit JOI.
If you are interested in scheduling an appointment at JOI Rehab for physical therapy, call (904) 858-7045. Come see us!
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