Golfer’s Elbow Treatment

Golfers elbow is an injury that affects the inside (or “medial side”) of the elbow. It is a type of tendinopathy, meaning that it is due to a problem within the tendon, near where it attaches to the bone. It was previously called “medial epicondylitis” however it is now known that there is usually not a large inflammatory process going on, so tendinopathy is a more accurate name.

Golfer's elbow can be due to problems with your golf swing technique.Golfers elbow is an injury that affects the inside (or “medial side”) of the elbow. It is a type of tendinopathy, meaning that it is due to a problem within the tendon, near where it attaches to the bone. It was previously called “medial epicondylitis” however it is now known that there is usually not a large inflammatory process going on, so tendinopathy is a more accurate name.

Golfers elbow is an injury that affects the inside (or “medial side”) of the elbow. It is a type of tendinopathy, meaning that it is due to a problem within the tendon, near where it attaches to the bone. It was previously called “medial epicondylitis” however it is now known that there is usually not a large inflammatory process going on, so tendinopathy is a more accurate name.

Golfer’s elbow presents as an ache on the inner elbow which can become sharp when stressed during certain activities, and it is usually a little worse in the mornings or after being inactive. Things that aggravate the pain include lifting and carrying objects like shopping bags or cooking pots, sports involving a club/bat or throwing movements, and other everyday things like carrying a heavy plate or opening a jar.

As with all tendinopathy’s, Golfer’s Elbow usually stems from an overload or overuse of the tendon. A good example of this is returning to a sport such as Golf after a long time off and playing multiple times a week, or having a bunch of people over for dinner and having to do lots of cutting, peeling and whisking over a number of days. This causes an irritation of the tendon and if not treated properly can result in tendon disorganisation or degeneration.

Golfers elbow exercise

Physiotherapy for Golfer’s elbow begins with an accurate diagnosis and a good treatment plan. The diagnosis is usually pretty straightforward, though it is important to get a thorough assessment to rule out any other issues. Although there may be a single identifiable factor that caused the problem to start (usually the increase in activity that you’re not used to), there can be a number of factors involved in its development. Assessment of the flexibility, strength and co-ordination of not just the elbow but the wrist, shoulder and neck is important as they can all have an impact in the development and rehabilitation of this issue.

Rehabilitation of this injury starts with reducing the amount of the aggravating activity that you’re currently doing. This doesn’t mean stopping doing everything! It just means reducing the load on the tendon to a point that is tolerable. Once your pain is under control, strengthening of the forearm muscles and building up the tolerance and resilience of the irritated tendon is important for full resolution of the issue. Included in this will be any strength, mobility or co-ordination exercises targeted toward any issues that were identified in your assessment. If you play sports like golf or tennis then technique correction can also be very important in reducing the stressors of the tendon into the future.

It is important that your pain is monitored during your rehab and that you are steadily returned to activities that stress the tendon in order to reduce your risk of any flare ups or future problems. Complete rest or extended inactivity is not the answer! We need to balance rest versus load on your tendon so we facilitate tendon healing but also get you back to doing what you love as soon as possible.

Golfers elbow can be treated effectively when caught early.
Getting the right treatment early will have you back on the course as soon as possible.

Getting the right treatment and advice early usually means that Golfer’s elbow can be resolved relatively quickly and without too many problems. However, if not managed properly and left to become chronic it can require quite a long period of rehab and time out of your usual sport and exercise. If you think you may have Golfer’s elbow then one of our experienced physio’s can help you get on the right path to recovery – give us a call on 9280 2322 or contact us for help.


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