Golfers elbow is an overuse injury that affects the tendons on the inner side of the elbow, with symptoms that include pain and tenderness at the inner elbow. It is a result of extensive gripping activity that over time places excess stress on your forearm muscles. Golfers elbow treatment primarily requires resting these injured tendons and allowing them a chance to recover. However, if your pain is severe, your doctor may suggest pain reliving medication such as aspirin. There are also exercises that you can perform to strengthen your forearm muscles and reduce the risk of developing golfers elbow again in the future.
What Is Golfers Elbow?
This condition is caused by excessive use of the flexor and extensor muscles of the forearm. These muscles are employed in gripping objects as well as in lifting and lowering the forearm. Extensive use of these muscles can result in soreness and inflammation of the tendons that connect these muscles to the bump on the inner side of your elbow.
This condition is very similar to tennis elbow. The main difference between the two is that tennis elbow affects the tendons on the outer (lateral) side of the elbow. With golfers elbow, it is the tendons on the inner (medial) side of the elbow that are involved. But the causes and symptoms of the two conditions are otherwise very similar.
As with tennis elbow, the risk of experiencing this condition has little or nothing to do with playing golf. Although both tennis and golf require extensive use of gripping muscles, there are many other conditions that can put you at risk of developing tennis or golfers elbow. These may include holding a paintbrush to paint, operating a computer mouse and even holding a pen, to take a few examples.
Golfers Elbow risk factors include the following:
Age – you are more likely to contract this condition if you are 40 years of age or older;
Your occupational or recreational activities. If you perform activities that require extensive gripping or holding movements on a daily basis, you are more at risk of experiencing the pain of golfers elbow;
Obesity and smoking also place you at increased risk of this condition.
Golfers Elbow Symptoms
As mentioned earlier, the primary symptoms are pain and tenderness on the medial (inner) side of your elbow. However, you may also experience the following symptoms if you are afflicted with golfers elbow:
Pain radiating along the inside of your forearm;
Pain radiating into your hand and along one or two fingers (probably the ring and little fingers);
Elbow stiffness and difficulty “making a fist” due to a feeling of weakness in your hand and wrist;
Increased pain when attempting certain movements that require a stronger grip (swinging a golf cub, for instance).
As mentioned, golfers elbow symptoms closely resemble those of tennis elbow. The main difference will be that you experience them along the inner side of the elbow and forearm instead of the outer side.
Golfers Elbow Treatment
As with many overuse injuries, the approach to the treatment of golfers elbow mainly involves rest. Given a chance, the injured tendons will recover naturally. Try to avoid activities that aggravate the condition (i.e. those that require use of a strong grip) for as long as possible.
To help relieve the pressure on your elbow tendons, your doctor may suggest use of a golfers elbow brace like one of those shown below. They will help to reduce the vibrations travelling along your forearm and reaching your elbow tendons. thus allowing them to recover more quickly.
To ease the pain of medial epicondylitis, you can try using ice, a cold pack or a topical analgesic. Another alternative for pain relief could be a prescription medication or an NSAID. However, we would not suggest these as a first measure due to potential side effects.
A fourth treatment strategy for golfers elbow would be starting on a course of exercises to stretch and strengthen your forearm extensor and flexor muscles. This will hep them cope with the demands of your daily activities without aggravating the adjacent elbow tendons.
If these more conservative treatments do not relieve your golfers elbow, your doctor may suggest a more aggressive approach. These may include cortisteroid or plasma injections or even surgery to removed the injured portions of your elbow tendon. In most cases, though, conservative approaches such as those mentioned above should be successful in treating your golfers elbow.
The Band It Elbow Brace is medically designed to aid in the relief and prevention of pain from Tendinitis, Tennis Elbow, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Repetitive Stress Injuries and Cumulative Trauma Disorders. The BandIt Strap is designed to help you enjoy your favourite activities with less pain.
Dynamic Tape simulates the action of a spring and improves the kinetic chain by strongly retarding or assisting muscle motion in order to optimize movement patterns. Once healing is complete, Dynamic Tape helps to reduce pain and control the risk of re-injury.
The Mueller Sports Medicine EASYfit® Kinesiology Tape applications are designed to be simple to use and can help relieve certain overuse injuries. Three (3) applications in each package for the knee, shoulder, foot/arch, calf/ankle/neck and waist/back applications. Six (6) applications in each package for the X & Y pattern applications.
The McDavid Elbow Sleeve / 4-Way Elastic w/Gel Buttresses offers both targeted and general compression to treat localized conditions like tennis or golfers’ elbow , or even more general conditions like olecranon bursitis or arthritis.
The LP Elbow Support brace helps to ease elbow swelling and relieves the pain of elbow bursitis. It also provides support and compression to weak, strained or injured elbow muscles. It utlizes LP’s popular 4-way stretch technology to provide uniform compression. You can use the sleeve with an extra strap if you need additional support…
The McDavid Elbow Support With Strap has an adjustable hook and loop cinch strap to apply precisely targeted tendon pressure and support. It also boasts McDavid’s exclusive 5-needle stitch for a flatter, cleaner and stronger seam for increased wearing comfort. This support is a great choice for relieving the symptoms of tennis or golfers’ elbow.
The Mueller Sports Medicine Elbow Support,Black, OSFM, features controllable compression applied using adjustable straps that allow you to combine pain relieving compression with a comfortable fit and soothing warmth.
The LP Extreme Elbow Support will relieve the pain of elbow injuries such as tennis and golf elbow. You can use this support whether your elbow problems are due to casual or intense sporting activity or to your occupational duties. It features a silicone pad that applies pressure on your forearm muscles and reduce vibrations traveling up the…
The Mueller Sports Medicine Hg80 Premium Elbow Brace features AEGIS Anti-Microbial treatment, a latex and neoprene free durable outer layer, breathable materials, moisture management fabric and a thin design.
Use DynaPro Kinesiology RestoreTape for possible relief from pain and faster recovery from aching and sore muscles, damaged ligaments, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, strained muscles /tendons and many other overuse injuries. Available in colours black, blue, beige and red and in lengths of either 5M or 31.5M. Hypoallergenic, latex free and waterproof. May be effective even for periods as long as 4-5 days.
Mueller Sports Medicine Kinesiology Tape – 5m Continuous Roll is a great choice for rapid rehabilitation for your sore, weak or injured muscles and joints. With its revolutionary wave pattern adhesive, it will lift your skin as you move to optimize your circulation and promote early recovery to full health. You cn wear it for up to 5 days at a time. Made from pure high grade cotton. Latex free, highly elastic and breathable in order to perform its “lifting” function more effectively.
The LP Tennis And Golf Elbow Wrap will help to ease discomfort and pain that you experience as a result of golfers’ or tennis elbow. It possesses a triangle shaped pressure point that applies additional compression for further pain reduction. You can use this triangular point to apply compression to different forearm muscle injuries such…
The Bio Skin Tennis Elbow Skin provides 100% elbow coverage and comes with a silicon pad and an elastic strap that you can position to provide extra compression and pain relief from lateral and medial epicondylitis.
The Mueller Sports Medicine Tennis Elbow Support will help to ease the pain of tennis or golfer’s elbow. The brace applies pressure just below your elbow and absorbs some of the vibrations passing through your forearm. This prevents those vibrations reaching your elbow and aggravating the injury. Use the Tennis Elbow Support’s adjustable strap to…
Kinesio Tex Classic successfully treats a variety of orthopaedic, neuromuscular, neurological and medical conditions. It provides fast and effective pain relief and support for muscle aches and pains and directly targets the fascia (skin layers) and muscle tissue to treat the cause of muscle inflammation and pain.
The LP X-Tremus Elbow Support helps you to enhance your sports performance as well as avoid injury. Its innovative Magic Power Band and Stable Contoured Structurel help you raise your training and competition to new levels and simultaneously mitigates tennis and golfer’s elbow as well as general elbow soreness.