Monday, March 6, 2017

Is There Really Such a Thing as Golfer’s Elbow?



It sounds crazy, but Golfer’s Elbow is a real injury. And, contrary to popular belief, it’s different than its well-known sibling, tennis elbow.  Here’s everything you need to know:

Causes of Golfer’s Elbow

Golfer’s elbow develops when impact swinging motions (i.e. hitting a golf ball or nail) are repeated over and over. Because the strong muscles and tendons of the forearm—that insert on the medial (middle) part of the elbow—are flexed throughout a swing, they experience a tremendous amount force upon impact. When the tendons reach the point where they are inflamed and produce pain, the condition is referred to as Golfer’s Elbow.


Illustration 1- Golfer's elbow refers to the irritation of the tendons that attach to the medial (middle) part of the elbow

It’s important to know that the term Golfer’s Elbow is a bit misleading as the condition is seen across multiple patient populations. Some of the most common are:

  • ·      Construction workers
  • ·      Carpenters
  • ·      Baseball players
  • ·      Throwing athletes
  • ·      People who work at a computer workstation


Over 200,000 cases of Golfer’s Elbow are reported annually among these (and similar) groups of people.


Illustration 2- Golfer's elbow doesn’t just affect golfers

Symptoms of Golfer’s Elbow

The most common symptoms are:

  • ·      Pain
  • ·      Tenderness
  • ·      Weakness
  • ·      Stiffness


The arms, forearms, wrist, hand, and fingers can exhibit any or any combination of these symptoms. Especially when the following movements are executed:

  • 1.     Rotating the palm downward
  • 2.     Rotating the wrist towards the body (pronation)
  • 3.     Rotating the forearm towards the body (pronation)


Symptoms are particularly problematic when these movements occur against resistance.

Golfer’s Elbow Treatments

The first (and easiest) way to treat golfer’s elbow is ice.

If ice alone isn’t enough to get the job done, rest is recommended.

If the symptoms continue to persist after adequate rest, an appointment with an orthopedic specialist should be made. Some of the treatment options they might prescribe are: 
  • 1.     Physical therapy
  • 2.     Anti-inflammatory medication
  • 3.     A steroid injection



In most cases, symptoms are relieved once these treatment measures are taken. The key is choosing the right orthopedic specialist. If you’re suffering from golfer’s elbow, please give us a call to make an appointment. We’ll get you back to work, or on the course, as soon as possible.


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