Golfer’s Elbow – Treatment, Cause, Symptoms and Complications

What is Golfer’s Elbow?

Golfer’s elbow or also called as Medial Epicondylitis is a condition where there is a trauma and inflammation in the inner side of the elbow. In this condition, the pain radiates from the bump on the inside of the elbow to the forearm. It’s primarily due to overused muscles of the arm that can give an individual too much pain and it will limit their movements.

Golfer's Elbow Pictures

Golfer’s Elbow Image

Symptoms of Golfer’s Elbow

  • Pain is the most common and obvious symptoms of Golfer’s Elbow that is experienced in the inside of the upper forearm and anywhere near elbow joint and wrist.
  • Tenderness due to the inflammation cause by overusing muscles.
  • Stiffness on the affected area.
  • Muscle Weakness on the area that is overused.
  • Numbness that radiates into one or more fingers.

Causes of Golfer’s Elbow

The main cause of Golfer’s Elbow is too much used of the muscles of the forearm accompanied by inadequate rest that will eventually make the muscles become strained and overwork. Over used can lead to straining the muscles that will interfere to an individual daily activities.

Activities that might lead in experiencing Golfer’s elbow:

  • Golf : playing golf that gripping and swinging the clubs incorrectly can lead a damage in both muscles and tendons. The damage can lead in having Golfer’s elbow that medical professionals advised these patients to have at least 3-6 months rest in other to help or aid in faster recovery.
  • Racket Sports : overdoing the “topspin” technique can lead in hurting your elbow and using rackets that are too small or big and heavy can lead in having an injury. Using inappropriate equipment can lead to additional force to be exerted by your arm so it is advised that you ask a professional regarding the right type of racket for you in order to avoid straining your muscles.
  • Throwing Sports : during softball or baseball, improper pitching can lead in straining muscles. It is advised by the professionals that you should warm up first in any activity and have a basic knowledge in every sport and technique you will be using to avoid injury.
  • Weight Training : Lifting weights improperly can make the elbow muscles and tendons to be overloaded. It is right to ask professionals to give you the appropriate type of weights especially if you are just a beginner to avoid injuries.
  • Other activities : activities that have a repetitive arm, wrist, or hand movements can also lead in having Golfer’s elbow Syndrome.

Risk Factors of Golfer’s Elbow

  • Most common in men
  • Usually the affected age group are between 20-49 years old
  • It can affect anyone who continually put stress on the arms, wrist and fingers.

Treatment for Golfer’s Elbow

  • Complete rest is needed once you are diagnosed with Golfer’s Elbow to avoid more damage in your overuse muscles. Some medical professionals advise to put a splint or strap to avoid pulling the overused tendon.
  • Iced the affected area in 10-15 minutes for four times a day to help to reduce the swelling and inflammation resulting by the injury. It will help you for your faster recovery.
  • Physiotherapy
  • 10 minute massage is usually recommended in order to help circulate the blood flow in the affected area
  • Stretching Exercise that will help the affected arm to go back to its normal but it should be done gradually to avoid straining again the affected part. Medical professionals will give you a tennis elbow cure exercises or routine stretching exercise that is appropriate for you to aid you for faster recovery.
  • Medication like NSAID’s (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) to help reduce pain and swelling in the affected area. Medical professional will advised you specific dose of drug that you will take to avoid overdosing that might cause another problem. Do not Self-Medicated.
  • Golfer’s exercise is a kind of exercise routine that is made and planned by your physical therapist to help for the recovery for your affected part.
  • Surgery is applied when the rest of the treatment doesn’t help to improve the condition within 3-6 months span of time. The procedures will remove the damage tendon that will help to improve blood flow and will help in healing process.

Prevention for Golfer’s Elbow

Strengthen the muscles of your forearm like squeezing a stress ball to help your muscles be ready to absorb the pressure of the unexpected physical stress.

  • Always stretch before any activity to warm up your muscles to avoid injuries. Usually stretching will make your muscle s be ready for the unexpected activity and it will help you to avoid creating injury in your body.
  • Fix your form or technique in playing to avoid injuries. Ask a professional to help you in fixing your form in order to avoid straining the muscles to avoid having Golfer’s elbow.
  • Lift smartly to avoid injuries to the muscle by using proper body mechanics. There are different ways and technique in lifting things that will not cause straining your muscles in the body like picking a book on the floor, instead you will pick it on a standing position and bending your back, it is advised you pick it on a sitting like position to avoid straining your arms and back in reaching the book.

Complications of Golfer’s Elbow

  • It can cause chronic elbow pain
  • There will be a limited range of motion that will cause a discomfort on the patient
  • If not treated, it can have a fix contracture in the individuals elbow
  • It can also lead to tendon or muscle rupture in the forearm

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