Golfer’s Elbow: Diagnosis, Causes, and Treatment

Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!

The movements we do, whether sports or daily activities, come with an element of risk. Without the appropriate strengthening and recovery, this stress can lead to pain. One of those pains is the dreaded golfer’s elbow.

Golfer elbow, also known as pitcher’s elbow, is an inflammation of Medial epicondylitis (inner elbow ) caused by the excessive force of bending the wrist toward the palm. Movements like swinging a golf club, pitching a baseball, throwing a football, racket sports, or even imbalanced strength training may lead to golfers’ elbow.

If you have pain in your inner elbow during your warm-up, your driving distance is down, and the pain in the elbow is up, you may suffer from golfer’s elbow. Here, two physical therapists, Bo Babenko and Dan Swinscoe, give you the lowdown on treating and curing this elbow pain.

What Are The Causes Of Golfer’s Elbow?

The leading cause of golfers’ elbows is, surprisingly, not golf. Yes, golf is one of the causes, but it’s not tied to a single activity or injury. The main symptom of the golfer’s elbow is pain on the inside of the elbow, which worsens during activities involving wrist and forearm movements.

Here are the key points regarding the causes of golfer’s elbow.

Overuse or Repetitive Strain

It’s thought that golfer’s elbow is due to overactivity or repetitive strain when performing strenuous activities repeatedly. However, light to moderate repetitive activities are not among the leading causes of a golfer’s elbow.

Isometric Strain Injury

Locking the elbow in a position for an extended period, such as when sitting at a computer, playing on your cellphone, or sleeping with your elbow bent, are some of the causes of golfers’ elbow.

Bad Habits

Daily activities and habits—including prolonged inactivity—might contribute to this condition. It’s essential to consider habits like sitting posture, sleeping positions, or any activity that puts prolonged pressure on the elbow. All of these can play a part in developing golfers’ elbow.

Much misinformation suggests that only repetitive use or excess strain from specific activities causes a golfer’s elbow. Although it may be a cause, repetitive use isn’t the only cause. However, most people have no one reason for developing a golfer’s elbow because it is usually a variety of factors.

Golfer’s Elbow And How It Affects You

Although we may not know the exact root causes of golfers’ elbows, a quick PT examination and question session will let you understand you have it, explains Babenko.

“The common way gofers elbow will present in the early phases while lifting is when you start to grip things like a barbell, dumbbell, or kettlebell, you’ll feel a dull achy sensation right in that elbow, and it feels like the muscle is cold. This feeling goes away, usually after the area is warmed up,” says Babenko.

When you feel pain in the inner elbow while swinging a golf club, the problem isn’t your elbow, but the main issue is elsewhere, explains Swimscoe.

“While swinging a golf club, the legs, torso, and upper arms create the bulk of the power to propel the club, and the hands are supposed to control the club’s face.

A widespread problem is the golfer doesn’t create power with the rest of the body and thus tries to propel the club face with forearm muscles. Over time, these tissues break down and create inflammation,” says Swimscoe.

Physical Therapy Tips For Golfer’s Elbow

When it came to pain and injury, the old-school way would have you rest and treat it with ice, compression, and the occasional painkiller. But now, most PTs know and have been trained better. Loading the elbow joint appropriately with enough rest and recovery and establishing better movement patterns go a long way in reducing golfers’ elbow symptoms, according to Babenko and Swimscoe.

“Wrist flexion and extension exercises will be the primary pieces of the puzzle. Biceps curls and any grip strengthening like pinch, grip holds hanging, or farmer carries type work will help improve your symptoms and long-term strength to support using your elbow for activities in and out of the gym,” explains Babenko.

This eccentric-focused wrist curl by Swimscoe will provide a mechanical stimulus to assist with the healing of the degenerative tissue in the elbow tendon. Once the elbow feels better and you want to improve your golf swing, the two exercises by Swimscoe below, the Stork Turn and the Row And Twist, teach your body to rotate and hit the ball with power without using your elbows.

“Both exercises take the strain off the elbow, and it should have it feel better,“ explains Swimscoe. Not only that, but you might also see some improvements in your driving distance too.

More Information You Should Know About Golfer’s Elbow

Pain is complicated, and exercise is only part of the picture when it comes to the healing process; when dealing with golfers’ elbow, pay attention to your daily activities, posture, and what you put into your mouth.

“Nutrition can help the healing timeline, starting with eliminating possible inflammatory foods. Most clients I work with increase their fish oil, collagen, and overall protein intake to assist healing,” explains Babenko.

Using a multifaceted approach that includes exercise, nutrition, and teaching your body improved movement patterns will have you crushing a golf ball off the tee and your regular strength workouts.

#Golfers #Elbow #Diagnosis #Treatment

Leave a Reply