Golfer's Elbow: Not Just for Golfers

Golfer’s elbow is a condition that causes pain in the inner elbow, where the tendons of your forearm muscle attach to the inside of your elbow. This area, known as the medial epicondyle, can become irritated with repetitive use or strain, and the pain may spread into the forearm or wrist. Golfer’s elbow is not limited to golfers; people who repeatedly use their wrists or clench their fingers can develop this condition. 

Causes

Golfer’s elbow is caused by damage to the muscles and tendons that control the wrist and fingers. It is usually related to repeated stress, especially forceful wrist and finger motions. Many activities can lead to golfer’s elbow besides golf. Forceful, repetitive movements can occur in construction, carpentry, and plumbing occupations. Lifting weights with improper technique can overload the elbow muscles and tendons. Racket sports can also cause injury to the tendon when improper technique is used. Using a racket that is too small or heavy can lead to injury. 

Symptoms

Golfer’s elbow is characterized by pain and tenderness, usually on the inner side of the elbow, and sometimes extending along the inner side of the forearm. You may feel stiffness in your elbow, and making a fist may be painful. You may also have weakness in your hands and wrists. There may also be sensations of numbness or tingling that radiates into one or more fingers, usually the ring and pinky fingers. 

Prevention

To prevent developing golfer’s elbow, make sure to stretch before activity. Walk or jog for a few minutes to warm up the muscles and do some gentle stretches. Strengthen your forearm muscles with light weights. Make sure to use the correct form when performing activities to avoid overload on muscles. When lifting anything, including weights, keep your wrists stable to reduce force to your elbow. Do not overuse your elbow and know when to rest. 

Treatment

Physical therapy for golfer’s elbow utilizes pain-relieving modalities, manual therapy, and stretching in order to restore mobility. Strengthening exercises will help make the area more resilient. 

Peak Physical Therapy

Our South Shore Physical Therapy practice specializes in physical therapy including many specialty programs including return-to-sports, vestibular, pelvic health, post-concussion, aquatics, and more. Locations include Norwell, MA, Scituate, MA, Quincy, MA, Hanover, MA, Pembroke, MA, and Braintree, MA. Our specialized programs combined with state-of-the-art facilities allow us to meet the unique needs of our local patients and achieve the fastest results. If you are unsure whether this type of treatment can help you, we offer a no-obligation FREE injury screening. Click here for more information.

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