Written by: Nicole Yarbenet, DC
Do you notice pain in your elbow while swinging a golf club? Does this pain prevent you from driving the golf ball as far as the pro’s do? If so, you may be suffering from Golfer’s elbow, otherwise known as Medial Epicondylitis. This frustrating and treatable condition is common among golfers.
Golfer’s elbow is an irritation on the inside of the elbow. It is often associated with an overhand throw, a golf swing, or use of a hammer. Sometimes this condition begins with an acute sprain or strain from the forearm muscles being overworked. Symptoms include pain on the inside of the elbow when lifting the wrist or hand, pain when twisting the forearm, or when making a fist. The area may be slightly swollen or tender to the touch. If the problem is chronic, additional symptoms can include stiffness in the elbow or weakness in the hands or wrist.
Golfer’s elbow can be slow to heal, but don’t get discouraged; conservative treatment can give excellent results! During the initial presentation, it’s important to rest until the pain subsides. You can always place an ice pack over the painful area for 15-20 minutes several times a day. Make sure your skin has completely warmed up before using ice again. Early chiropractic adjustments and physical therapy are highly recommended to restore motion in the wrist, elbow, and shoulder to speed up recovery. Massage therapy of the forearm which includes myofascial release, trigger point therapy and friction massage will assist in relaxing the forearm musculature and breaking up scar tissue that has formed. Ultrasound therapy and laser therapy are other forms of treatment that can be beneficial in reducing pain and inflammation.
When it’s time for you to return to play, it’s important to stretch your forearm muscles to prevent re-injury! Simple stretches such as wrist flexion and extension will help loosen the muscles. Your chiropractor or physical therapist can always recommend an elbow brace or kinesiology tape to wear while playing golf. Just remember, golfers elbow will not heal if it’s not allowed to rest!
If you are suffering from a gym or other sports injury and are looking to find relief, don’t hesitate – Call Monmouth Pain & Rehabilitation for a consultation and exam. Feel free to fill out a form on our website. If you are looking for faster service, give us a call at 732-345-1377.
Below are some simple exercises to help strengthen and stretch those muscles.
Gentle wrist flexion and wrist extension, start with 1lb and increase the weight when it becomes easy!
Hold 10 seconds then release! Repeat 3 times.
**You can use a soup can at home!