Golfers Elbow Treatment
Explaining Golfer's Elbow
What is golfer's elbow or medial epicondylitis?
If you’re an active person who enjoys sports or working with your hands, and you’re facing chronic pain just below the inside of your elbow, especially when you grip, you may be dealing with medial epicondylitis, which requires an effective golfers elbow treatment.
The elbow joint is formed where the humerus (upper arm bone) meets the radius and ulna (the bones that make up the forearm). Several muscles and tendons converge on that spot, and interact closely to allow for the incredible range of motion and strength available in your wrist, hand and fingers. Through repetitive motion and strain, these tendons can become inflamed or experience micro tears.
A common result of this damage is a painful condition known commonly as golfers elbow. True golfers elbow is medically termed medial epicondylitis, as it is an inflammation of the common flexor tendon attached to the medial side of the epicondyle (a bony knob at the bottom of the humerus.) A related condition commonly called “tennis elbow” involves similar damage affecting the tendons on the other side of the forearm where they connect to the lateral epicondyle.
These tendons are vital to the contraction and flexing of the wrist and fingers, movements used repeatedly and forcefully when you swing a golf club, turn a screwdriver, use a paint brush, or turn a wrench.
Understandably, then, athletes involved in racquet sports, golf, and bowling are prone to develop epicondylitis. Far more often, however, the conditions are experienced by individuals who routinely rely on their grip strength, twisting and sweeping motions to perform their daily activities, such as mechanics, plumbers, painters, and janitors.
You don’t have to be a golfer to seek out a golfers elbow treatment to help with this common cause of chronic elbow pain.
Golfer's Elbow Symptoms
Progressively worsening pain on the inside of the elbow joint, at the very top of the forearm.
Possibly swelling or redness around the elbow
Weakening of the grip
Unlike a pulled muscle or torn tendon, golfers elbow is not generally the result of a specific injury. Therefore, the pain associated with the condition builds over time. At first, it may be mistaken for simple muscle soreness. Then, as it progresses, it may begin to hinder freedom of movement and lessen grip strength to the point that it begins to debilitate, requiring prompt golfers elbow treatment in order to alleviate symptoms and find relief.
Golfer's Elbow Causes and Risk Factors
Repetitive stress on the tendons attached to the medial epicondyle, which are responsible for lowering your wrist and flexing your fingers
Poor technique in sports (ex: a poorly executed golfing drive)
Most common in adults aged 30-50
Medial epicondylitis is caused by the forming of tiny tears in the tendon connecting the forearm muscles to the humerus due to overuse or stress on a poorly conditioned tendon. As noted above, this fits well with the fact that many sufferers are athletes with poor form or those whose jobs require repetitive use of the tendons. They tend to strain the tendons over time rather than due to an injury event.
Those who fail to stretch the forearm muscles appropriately before, during, and after exercise periods can find themselves more prone to golfers elbow along with a host of other muscle strains and injuries.
Allowed to evolve without appropriate golfers elbow treatment, this pain can progress to the point that lifting a glass of water to your mouth or shaking hands can be unbearable.
In some cases, this progressive pain is accompanied by swelling or redness in and around the elbow joint, although golfers elbow shares this symptom with many other conditions.
Golfer's Elbow Treatment
Relieving the pain caused by medial epicondylitis (Golfers Elbow Treatment) requires that you:
Reduce the inflammation
Support the tendons and forearm muscles
If you can accomplish those two goals, you should note pain relief very quickly.
Doctors providing golfers elbow treatment will recommend the following options for accomplishing this:
Rest – While the arm likely will not need to be immobile, a doctor will recommend stopping or severely limiting the activities that are causing pain.
Ice – Use ice on the upper forearm several times a day to help reduce swelling.
OTC Pain Relievers – Take Motrin, Advil, or other over-the-counter pain relievers that contain ibuprofen or naproxen to help lessen the inflammation and ease pain.
Stretches – Stretch your forearms repeatedly before, during, and after exercise to keep the tendons limber.
Strengthening – Strength training focused on balanced conditioning of the elbow joint and surrounding muscles will help stabilize and strengthen the structure of the joint.
Elbow Strap – Purchase a golfers elbow treatment joint stabilizing support that will apply medical grade pressure to the tendons and muscles of the forearm during activity, reducing strain and allowing the tendon to heal while easing pain. Be careful to avoid straps that might interfere with circulation.
Cortisone – If none of the above helps, your doctor may prescribe regular injections of cortisone to control the pain, although this would be rarely used since corticosteroids tend to weaken tendons and can increase the chances of further complications.
Surgery – As a last resort, your doctor may attempt surgery to repair the tendons.
PLEASE NOTE: While some or all of these options may be effective in temporarily easing the pain of plantar fasciitis, they can also be difficult, costly, uncomfortable, and even dangerous!