If you are an avid golfer, you may have been the unfortunate victim of the painful condition known as “golfer’s elbow". In the medical field it is known as medial epicondylitis.
This condition develops on the inside (medial) bony aspect of your elbow. This is where the wrist and finger flexor muscles of your forearm attach. Watch this VIDEO about golfers' elbow and tennis elbow and how an elbow brace can help this condition.
Golfer's elbow is caused by repetitive strain of the muscle and tendon. This can create micro-tears and develop into chronic inflammation and pain.
Golfer’s elbow is similar to “tennis elbow", as they both are a form of tendonitis. Tennis elbow is on the outside, (lateral) aspect of the elbow and affects the forearm's wrist and finger extensor muscles.
A golfers elbow brace, also known as a counter-force brace, may 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 put on your elbow during your golf swing. A counter-force brace is a strap that goes around your forearm just below your elbow.
The pressure is applied over the forearm's flexor muscles, 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 that may be made with different materials and styles. 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). The insert goes over the target muscle area and applies direct pressure to alleviate tension on the affected tendon. Most golfers elbow braces are one-size-fits-all. 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 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 may be beneficial to consult a Jacksonville Orthopedic Institute physician to address your symptoms. Conservative treatment for the elbow begins with decreasing the inflammation and pain in the elbow. Various modalities like laser can be used to achieve this goal. It is important to strengthen the muscles and tendons as well to make sure that the injury does not come back. A gradual return to your sport is also very important.
You can trust the physicians and clinicians at JOI and JOI Rehab for your care. We have the most experienced group of health care providers in the entire region. JOI is Where The Pros Go!
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