Golfer’s elbow, also known as medial epicondylitis, is a form of tendonitis causing pain on the inner portion of the elbow. Less common than its counterpart, tennis elbow, only a small percentage of those that suffer from golfer’s elbow play golf. Many have, unfortunately, experienced golfer’s elbow without ever having golfed a day in their life.
What causes Golfer’s Elbow?
Despite what the name may imply, golfer’s elbow often occurs due to repetitive movement of the forearm muscles that are involved in grip, flexion of the wrist, and rotation of the arm. Golf, racket sports, throwing sports, painting, raking, and hammering can all cause golfer’s elbow. Repetitive movements place stress on the muscles and tendons causing damage. Symptoms may include inflammation, pain or tenderness, weakness in the affected limb, and numbness or tingling. The prognosis for golfer’s elbow is often 4-6 weeks post-injury. For more severe cases, it may take up to 6 months to fully heal.
How can physiotherapy help?
Physiotherapy has proven to be successful in treating approximately 80-95% of cases regarding golfer’s elbow. It can reduce the pain, increase the mobility of the joint, reduce the risk of reoccurrence, and enable you to get back to the activities you know and love. At Aquafit Physiotherapy, our therapists will perform an initial assessment including range of motion and strength measurements. From the initial evaluation, a treatment plan is constructed suited per individual needs.
Physiotherapy is a non-surgical intervention that aims to facilitate the tendons and muscles from further damage and to guide the healing process. Forearm strengthening and stretching exercises may be prescribed to reduce stress on the affected muscles and tendons. Further education may include information regarding proper form, appropriate equipment or tool usage, and the importance of rest breaks when performing repetitive activities. Manual techniques may include gentle stretching, myofascial release, frictions, and other techniques to promote blood flow to the area, reduce inflammation, and increase mobility of the elbow joint. Machines, such as therapeutic ultrasounds, may further be used to increase blood flow to the affected area and to promote tissue healing.
Aquafit Physiotherapy’s innovate hydrotherapy pools provide an optimal environment for recovery and healing. The warm water in the pools increases circulation throughout the body. Further, the buoyancy creates a safe space to perform mobility and strengthening exercises free of pain. The combination of exercises and manual therapies can help get you back to normal function. Book your appointment today to get your treatment plan in place and get back on track to doing the activities you enjoy.