What is Golfer’s Elbow and How to Fix It

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What is Golfer’s Elbow?

Golfer’s elbow, also known as medial epicondylitis is a painful condition which affects the tendons that connect the forearm to the elbow.

The pain is often more pronounced in the bony bump located on the inner side of the elbow (medial epicondyle) where the forearm tendons and muscles attach to the elbow. However, the pain may spread all the way to the forearm and wrist in some cases.

The golfer’s elbow usually develops when you overuse or strain the muscles and tendons of the forearm, causing pain and inflammation around your elbow joint.

The damage usually happens when you perform a specific activity repeatedly, causing chronic irritation to the tendon.

Golf isn’t the only significant cause of golfer’s elbow. Other sports and activities such as weight lifting, javelin, typing and hammering can also cause the damage.  


Symptoms of Golfer’s Elbow  

Pain and tenderness is the most significant symptom of the golfer’s elbow.

Typically, when you develop the condition, you will experience soreness when flexing your wrist or gripping stuff. Many patients have described a shooting sensation down their forearm especially when fastening their arms or holding things.

Other symptoms include stiffness (difficulties maneuvering or clenching your hand), weakness in the hands and wrists and a tell-tale numbness or tingling sensation radiating into the fingers.


How You Treat It

The good news is that golfer’s elbow can easily be treated from the comfort of your home through simple exercises.


Golfers Elbow Exercises 

The plan of attack for golfer’s elbow exercises can be divided into two strategies. Stretching and Strengthening.

Let’s take a look at some of the activities you can do to relieve the pain.

Stretching

The goal of the stretches is to exercise the wrist flexor muscles in your forearm in order to improve the mobility of th wrist.

Stretch #1: Forearm pronation and supination

  • Keep your elbow at your side throughout the exercise.
  • Bending the elbow at 90 degrees, point your palm upwards and maintain this position for approximately five seconds.
  • Turn your palm downwards and maintain the position for another five seconds.
  • Shoot for 15 reps. Twice a day.

Stretch #2: Wrist Flexion and Extension

  • Place the injured arm straight in front of you, palm facing down.
  • Using your good arm, pull the injured hand by the wrist, bending only its wrist towards your body.
  • Maintain this position for up to 30 seconds. Repeat the motion by bending your wrist in the opposite direction and hold for 30 seconds once more.
  • Remember to keep the injured arm straight.
  • Repeat three times.

Strengthen

After creating flexibility and minimizing the pain you can move on to strength. Strengthening the muscles and tendons involved with golfer’s elbow can reduce the pain and also preventing the condition from recurring.  

Strength Exercise #1 Grip Strength

  • Squeeze a soft rubber ball. Holding the grip for five seconds.
  • Repeat up to 20 times in one session, twice a day.  

Strength Exercise #2 Eccentric Wrist Extension and Flexion

  • Find an object that has a small amount of weight to it. Think a full soda can or a hammer.
  • Use your healthy arm to assist. Bend the injured arm’s wrist upwards while gripping the item.
  • Slowly lower to the starting position using as little support from the healthy arm as possible.
  • Gradually increase the weight to strengthen your muscle.
  • Perform 3 sets of 15 to 20 reps a day.
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