Golfer’s elbow: not just for golfers
Golfer’s elbow is often overshadowed by its counterpart: the tennis elbow.
But just because it does not receive as much coverage as the tennis elbow, it is no less serious. Golfer’s elbow is due to inflammation of the forearm muscle tendons that attach to the inside of the elbow. It is also known as medial epicondylitis.
The inflammation of these tendons leads to a shooting pain sensation down the forearm when the person performs certain activities such as gripping. There are multiple mechanisms for tendinitis that range from a single violent movement to overuse from repetitive movements. Golf is a sport that can increase the incidence of golfer’s elbow but there are other causes to this same problem. Certain occupations with administrative tasks can also increase the likelihood of developing a golfer’s elbow.
Even though this condition can be very painful and often self-limiting, it generally does not cause any long-term disability. In fact, it can be well-managed with rest and proper rehabilitation.
As with most types of repetitive strain injuries and tendinitis, rest is paramount in the acute stage of tissue healing. Most practitioners recommend an icing regime together with rest from all aggravating activities. Other modalities that are used in conjunction with rest and ice to address pain could include ultrasound, interferential current, laser or acupuncture.
Gentle stretching exercises can help control the symptoms of golfer’s elbow and keep the tendons in good length. Once the pain subsides, it is imperative to continue with rehabilitation to make certain that the tendinitis does not reoccur.
Exercises must be introduced during the healing process. Adam will advise you of a progressive strengthening program targeted at the involved muscles so they become strong enough to handle the once-aggravating activities.
Typing on a keyboard requires repetitive, small finger and wrist movements that could aggravate golfer’s elbow. Therefore, consult with Adam for advice regarding the ergonomics of your workstation. For golfers, make sure the golf clubs and grips are sized properly. Swing mechanics should also be evaluated by a professional to optimize body mechanics.