Golfer’s Elbow: It Doesn’t Just Happen To Golfers

golfer's elbow TwinBoro

Golfer’s Elbow, also known as medial epicondylitis, affects many different individuals: not just golfers…and not just athletes. Here’s what you need to know about causes, prevention and treatment of this common elbow injury.

Golfer’s Elbow – Medial Epicondylitis

Sure, golf season might be over for all but the most diehard players, but that doesn’t mean we still don’t treat patients dealing with Golfer’s Elbow. Golfer’s Elbow occurs from inflammation in the muscle tendons in the forearm that attach to the inside of the elbow joint.

Three out of four causes of golfer’s elbow occur to the dominant arm. While pain might build gradually and radiate down the arm, it can become unbearable with certain movements.

But, it doesn’t just happen to golfers.

What Causes Golfer’s Elbow

Given the name, you’re right to guess that medial epicondylitis is a common golf injury. But Golfer’s Elbow can happen to anyone with an acute injury or chronic irritation due to overuse. Golf is a common cause, but over 90% of cases are not sports related. Occupations involving activity that involves gripping can lead to painful, shooting sensations that travel down the forearm.

While the cause may vary from patient to patient, repetitive motions and cumulative stress are common factors for Golfer’s Elbow. Age, mobility, strength, technique, frequency of motion and grip can all contribute to the symptoms of this condition.

Preventing Golfer’s Elbow

Thankfully, this condition usually heals with simple treatment including rest and rehabilitation. Most people with Golfer’s Elbow do not require surgery.

Often, one way to prevent Golfer’s Elbow is a simple change in technique (such as swing mechanics) or equipment (such as adapting grip).

Like other athletic injuries, doing too much, too soon can lead to Golfer’s Elbow, which can keep you off the course for weeks…or even months, at a time. Gradually build the volume and intensity of golf shots taken. Also take the time to warm up properly, perform accessory strengthening exercises and know when to rest.

Soft tissue mobilization (ex: massage) is another simple thing patients can do on their own to increase blood flow to the area and help to break up some scar tissue. Cross-massage the area by rubbing the arm perpendicular to the muscle fibers, a couple of inches from the pain. Do this for about five minutes, a couple times a day.

Difference Between Golfer’s Elbow and Tennis Elbow

Golfer’s Elbow, or medial epicondylitis, is similar to lateral epicondylitis, also known as Tennis Elbow. Your doctor or physical therapist can help you determine the exact cause of your elbow pain.

Both Golfer’s Elbow and Tennis Elbow involve pain in the tendons of the forearm. Golfer’s Elbow is characterized by pain on the inside of the elbow. Tennis Elbow is characterized by pain on the outside of the elbow.

The easiest way to tell the difference between tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow is to pay attention to which wrist direction causes pain. If you move your wrist towards your palm: Golfer’s Elbow. If you move your wrist backward, away from the palm: Tennis Elbow.

Treatment for Golfer’s Elbow at Twin Boro Physical Therapy

At Twin Boro Physical Therapy, our professional therapists provide individualized treatment and hands-on therapy to help you reduce elbow pain and speedup recovery. We also believe in providing in-depth patient education to help you prevent future injuries. Through ultrasound, soft tissue therapy, stretching, mobilization and strengthening, we will help you get on the road to recovery!

We have 23 convenient Twin Boro Physical Therapy locations throughout New Jersey. Each location uses our proprietary One2Four advanced physical therapy technique that helps us identify an individualized path for each patient. We’ll get you back on your feet and workout out again in no time!  Read more about our One2Four approach >>

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Why Choose Twin Boro Physical Therapy

Winners of a Best in NJ Readers’ Choice in Physical Therapy recognition, Twin Boro has provided NJ residents with high quality physical therapy and rehab for more than 38 years! It’s our award-winning approach, proven results and reputation that sets us apart. By incorporating the One2Four program into each patient’s program, the latest and most reliable scientific research and techniques is incorporated into effective evidence-based practice, we deliver only the highest standard of care with the unique One2Four approach.

It’s no surprise that Twin Boro Physical Therapy has also been voted the best physical therapy practice in New Jersey by the readers of mycentraljersey.com.

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