Ask a Physical Therapist: “What is Golfer’s Elbow?”
Golfers’ elbow is a general term for medial epicondylitis. This is similar to tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis), except that it is on the inside of the elbow. The reasons for this occurring are similar to that of tennis elbow where there is an overuse of the muscles that flex your wrist and fingers. These muscle tendons attach to the inside elbow bony area, and overuse results in irritation.
Golfer’s elbow and tennis elbow can be treated very effectively with physical therapy. Modalities such as ultrasound, heat, and ice can assist in reducing swelling and pain of irritated tendons. Furthermore, hands-on therapy for the tissues and joints helps restore normal joint movement, break up any scar adhesions in the tissue and bring circulation to the area to promote healing.
As the pain and swelling subside, the focus is shifted to making sure that elbow and wrist range of motion and flexibility is returned to normal. Gentle progressive strengthening programs are started to help support the affected area and to regain your strength. In addition, the therapist can educate you on proper posture and techniques to manage work or repetitive activities, so the condition does not continue.
Most people respond well to physical therapy for this condition. Discover how quickly PT can help you return to golf or whatever activity keeps you active.
David Degrassi, PT