Golfers Elbow Symptoms, Causes & how to treat it with Physiotherapy

golfers elbow

Golfer’s elbow is a condition characterised by pain and inflammation on the inside of the elbow. It is a very similar to “Tennis elbow” that is characterised by pain and inflammation on the outside of the elbow.

What causes you to have golfers elbow?

It’s name suggests it can be caused by playing golf but it is more commonly caused by non sporting activities. Specifically activities that require a lot of gripping and flexing of the wrist. The flexor muscles that are used for these movements insert into a bony lump on the inside of your elbow called the medial epicondyle. Repetitive strain and over use can cause micro trauma to these muscles and the common flexor tendon.

What are the symptoms of golfers elbow?

Someone suffering with golfer’s elbow will experience pain and tenderness on the inside of the elbow and even down the forearm. They may also experience inflammation in the region of the medial epicondyle. These symptoms can be made worse when bending the wrist, gripping and turning your palm downwards. In addition to these symptoms the patient may also complain of weakness in the wrist and fingers.

What is the prognosis for golfers elbow?

Tendons can be slow to heal due to their poor blood supply, and as this condition effects the common flexor tendon of the forearm, the symptoms can last for a number of weeks or even months. However 9 out of 10 cases can make a complete recovery with the appropriate advice and treatment.

If you are suffering from these conditions it is important to note that physiotherapy can greatly speed up the recovery of golfers elbow and with our help it is highly likely that you will make a full recovery.

What types of treatment are available?

Acupuncture – To initiate a healing response and provide pain relief.

Exercise and Rehabilitation – To stretch and strengthen specific muscles and other soft tissue that has been injured. During early rehabilitation we can provide you with “eccentric exercises”, these exercises put less strain on the muscle and therefore optimise recovery during the early stages of rehab.

Deep tissue Massage – To reduce tension within the forearm muscles in order to improve tissue mobility, enhance muscle contraction and desensitise any painful areas.

Taping Techniques – To “off load” the injured muscles/tendons in order to prevent any further injury.

Elbow Supports – Can be considered and prescribed to help offload the affected area, reduce pain and increase function.

Education and Advice – To provide you with coping mechanisms and an understanding of why you have your symptoms.

Consultant and Sports Medicine referral – We are familiar with a range of expert Consultants who we can refer you to if further medical intervention is required.