Golfer’s Elbow

Brief Outline of Golfer’s Elbow

Golfer’s elbow, also known as medial epicondylitis, is a form of tendinitis similar to tennis elbow. Golfing is one of many sources of the affliction, which can result from any activity leading to overuse of the muscles and tendons of the forearm. While the painful sensation at the elbow is similar to tennis elbow, in the case of golfer’s elbow, the pain and inflammation occur at the inside (or medial side) of the elbow around the bony prominence of the joint.

Golfer's Elbow

Anatomy and physiology

The medial epicondyle is a bony prominence on the inside of the elbow. It is the insertion point for muscles used to bend the wrist downward. Forceful, repetitive bending of the fingers and wrist can lead to small ruptures of muscle and tendon in this area. While the golfing swing produces a tightening in the flexor muscles and tendons that can lead to medial epicondylitis, other activities can produce the same injury.

Cause of Golfer’s Elbow

Sudden trauma or blow to the elbow. Repetitive stress to the flexor muscles and tendons of the wrist. Repeated stress placed on the arm during the acceleration phase of the throwing motion. Underlying health issues including neck problems, rheumatism, arthritis or gout.

Signs and symptoms

Tenderness and pain at the medial epicondyle, which worsens when the wrist is flexed. Pain resulting from lifting or grasping objects. Difficulty extending the forearm due to inflammation.

Complications if left unattended

Golfer’s elbow, while generally alleviated by proper rest, can cause increasing pain and unpleasantness if the stressful activity continues. The condition rarely requires surgery, and responds well to proper rehabilitation. Should surgery be required, scar tissue is removed from the elbow where the tendons attach.

Treatment

  • Avoid activities causing repetitive stress to the elbow.
  • Elbow brace
  • Physiotherapy
  • Injection
  • Shockwave therapy

Rehabilitation and prevention

In the case of golfing, the affliction can be reduced in severity or prevented altogether through attention to proper technique and attention to overuse. Golfer’e elbow is more prevalent early in the golf season, when muscles and tendons are not yet sufficiently conditioned. Rehabilitation generally involves avoiding the painful activity for a period. Use of analgesics for pain and anti-inflammatory drugs help reduce symptoms. After healing, resistive exercises may be undertaken to improve strength.

Long-term prognosis

Those suffering from golfer’s elbow generally make a full recovery without surgery or advanced medical care, providing the injured elbow is afforded proper rest from the stressful activity.

Call (+65) 6471 2674 (24 Hour) to make an appointment to treat your Golfer’s Elbow today.