What is it?
Golfer’s elbow is defined as chronic degeneration of the tendon of the inside of the elbow, usually due to overuse. It is a condition common in golfers, racquet sports and general overuse of the elbow. However, as with all sporting injuries, this condition can affect anyone. Golfer’s elbow is similar to Tennis elbow, however occurs on the inside of the elbow rather than the outside.
What are the symptoms?
A person suffering from this condition will experience pain on the inside of the forearm, elbow and can refer down into the hand. Pain worsens with gripping activities of the hand and wrist movements. Pins and needles may also be felt in the hand.
What are the causes?
Generally, the cause of this condition is thought to be when excessive forces are transmitted through the tendon. This can be due to reduced quality of the tendon tissues (occurring over time) or sudden increased demands on the tendon.
The muscles joined to the tendon bend the wrist and provide grip strength, this is why activities such as golf, manual work, or any gripping activities are thought to damage the tendon over time. Further, poor blood supply or normal aging processes of the tendon can reduce the tendon quality. When you have reduced tissue functioning, repetitive movements of the wrist can cause Golfer’s elbow. Poor posture and neck dysfunction may also contribute to this condition.
How can Physiotherapy help?
Treatment is aimed at allowing the tissue to heal and regenerate. This requires rest and changes to the forces affecting the tissues, sometimes through bracing or taping. Electrotherapy, dry needling, and massage have all shown to help with this condition also.