Golfer’s elbow is an injury to the muscles that flex your wrist and fingers. The site of injury is typically the medial epicondyle. It often occurs due to overusing the forearm muscles and tendons and those around the elbow joint. The tendons insert onto the medial epicondyle of the humerus (the long bone of the upper arm). This gives the problem its other name which is medial epicondylitis.
Typically, the Golfers Elbow sufferer will experience pain when performing gripping tasks or resisted wrist/finger extension. Pain can also be present when the muscles are stretched. There will be tenderness directly over the bony epicondyle, and there may be trigger points in the wrist muscles.
Pain and tenderness: Usually felt on the inner side of your elbow, the pain sometimes extends along the inner side of your forearm. Pain typically worsens with certain movements.
Stiffness: Your elbow may feel stiff, and making a fist might hurt.
Weakness: You may have weakness in your hands and wrists.
Numbness or tingling: These sensations might radiate into one or more fingers usually the ring and little fingers.
Golfers elbow may cause the most pain when you:
- Lift something
- Make a fist or grip an object, such as a tennis racket
- Raise your hand or straighten your wrist
Rest: Resting the arm is important. A break in activity allows the tears in the tendon attachment to heal. Using ice packs, anti-inflammatory drugs, soft tissue massages, stretching exercises, and ultrasound therapy can help to reduce the pain.
- Manual Therapy: Your Physiotherapist may use hands-on tissue manipulation techniques to create a small amount of micro-trauma to the area to re-start the inflammation process.
- Exercises: Specific exercises that have a goal of stressing the tissue to just beyond its current capability can be used as a pro-inflammatory technique.
- Strapping or taping the forearm: Supporting the area can help realign the muscle fibers and relieve pressure on the area. A physician may recommend using a splint for 2 to 3 weeks to take the elbow out of action.
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