Golfer’s elbow is a chronic inflammation of a tendon of the inner side of the elbow. It is a similar condition to tennis elbow however affects the inner aspect of the elbow rather than the outer aspect.
The exact cause of golfers elbow is not known, but it does tend to occur after repetitive use of the forearm and wrist. It is does not only affect golfers. During contraction of the forearm flexors, tension is placed through the flexor tendon at its attachment to the inside prominence of the elbow (medial epicondyle). When this tension is excessive due to too much repetition or high force, damage to the tendon occurs. Golfers elbow is a condition whereby there is damage, with subsequent inflammation and degeneration to the flexor tendon. This can happen due to gradual wear and tear or traumatically due to a specific incident.
There is pain over the bony prominence on the inner side of the elbow. The pain can extend down the forearm to the wrist and hand. The pain is made worse by bending the wrist and grasping objects tightly. There may be discomfort in extending (straightening) the wrist also, due to stretching of the affected flexor muscles.
Treatment for Golfers Elbow / Medial Epicondylitis
Physiotherapy treatment for patients with this condition is vital to hasten the healing process, ensure an optimal outcome and decrease the likelihood of injury recurrence. Treatment may comprise:
- Joint mobilisation/lateral glide mobilisation
- Joint manipulation
- Deep tissue massage/myofascial release
- Dry needling /acupuncture
- Activity modification advice
- Ergonomic and sleeping advice
- Exercise programs to improve flexibility and strength.
- Brace/Splinting advise
- Technique analysis/Biomechanical Assessment
- Injection advice