Golfer’s Elbow… Don’t Let It Affect Your Game!

Golfer’s elbow is a common overuse condition due to repetitive motion when most commonly playing golf, but can occur in other sports that involve a lot of gripping (rock climbing, tennis, weight lifting).  It affects the forearm tendons that attach to the inside part of the elbow, known as the medial epicondyle due to repetitive stress over many weeks, months, or years.  Most of us don’t always recognize the symptoms because they can come-and go and are not always associated with sports activity (could involve home repair too).  Typically, one may feel pain at the inside of the elbow, but often, because these tendons go down into the forearm, and wrist, pay may be felt here as well.  This can be treated conservatively (and without drugs) and effectively by a healthcare professional who has experience if evaluated once the injury is noticed.
Once the injury is identified, treatment involves multiple options.  One of the recommendations is to limit activity if the problems becomes worse.  By stopping and not performing the activities you enjoy, it is band-aid over the problem.  When you do resume the activity (ies), the problem may return because it was never addressed originally.  Treatment typically involves Active Release Techniques to break down the scar tissue that formed within the muscles/tendons in the forearm/near the elbow.  Secondly, giving rehab exercises to stretch the tendons/muscles in the forearm will help to keep the muscles loose.  Thirdly, applying Kinesiotape to the forearm/elbow to help support the muscles/tendons to avoid the injury from worsening.  Lastly, chiropractic manipulation to the elbow can help to limit restriction and mobility in the elbow and to realign the elbow joint to not allow further tension on the muscles and tendons.
Treatment may resolve the injury quickly within a few visits, but it may take longer depending on the length of how long one has had the injury.  If treatment doesn’t resolve the injury conservatively, then an MRI may be needed to address a more complex injury such as either a ligament or tendon tear in either the forearm/elbow.
Ensure that you stretch your forearms before and after or after your activity to avoid this injury.  Hope everyone is staying active and having a great summer!  Stay tuned to next month’s blog.

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