Let’s begin by informing you that you don’t necessarily need to play golf to experience a golfer’s elbow. So keep reading even if you’re not a golfer. Find out other ways you can have the same symptoms, get treatment, plus 3 helpful exercises for golfer’s elbow (even if you don’t play golf).
Symptoms Of Golfer’s Elbow
Golfer’s elbow is medically known as Medial Epicondylitis, and the symptoms can flare up suddenly or occur gradually. The condition develops when the tendons on the inside of the forearm become irritated, inflamed or painful. Repetitive use of the hand, wrist, forearm, and elbow cause golfer’s elbow.
The pain tends to be on the inside of the elbow and sometimes it extends to the forearm. It worsens with certain movements, and causes stiffness when trying to make a fist. There will be weakness in the hands and wrists and numbness or tingling that radiates to one or more fingers. The ring finger and little finger are most affected.
Who Is Likely To Get Golfer’s Elbow
Any athlete or person who performs overhead motions is likely to become susceptible. It also applies to any activity or occupation that requires gripping, twisting, or throwing.
These include the following:
- Swinging a golf club
- Performing yard work
- Using a computer
- Construction workers
Initial Treatments For Golfer’s Elbow
Rest is important. Use ice on your forearm. Take anti-inflammatory medications and use a brace on your forearm. Wear a night splint. Most importantly, engage a physical therapist. You will practice some of the exercises below, plus others.
Corticosteroid injections and/or PRP injections can also help relieve symptoms.
3 Exercises To Relieve Golfer’s Elbow
1. Soft Tissue Roll
Use a soft ball like a tennis ball. Place your forearm on top of the ball with your palm facing down. Roll your arm slowly up and down the ball 10 to 15 times. Stop on any spot that feels sore or painful and flex your wrists. Do this several times a day.
2. Wrist Flexion/Extension Stretch
Extend your arm and bend your wrist up and down. You should feel tension in both directions. Do this exercise 20-30 times a day.
3. Thoracic Extension
Lie on your back or sit in a chair with a low back. Use a large rolled towel and place it between your shoulder blades horizontally. Tighten your stomach muscles like someone is about to punch you. Lift your arms over your head and then extend your upper back and body over the top of the rolled towel.
Treatment Is Essential
Most patients recover without surgery, but must rest for 6 weeks. Without proper treatment it can cause permanent damage like chronic pain, limiting your range of motion and a weakened grip.