Understanding golfer's elbow
Golfer's elbow, medically known as medial epicondylitis, is a common condition that causes pain and discomfort on the inner side of the elbow and forearm. Despite its name, this condition can affect anyone, not just golfers. In this article, we will explore golfer's elbow, including its causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment options, and strategies for prevention.
Causes of golfer's elbow
Golfer's elbow is primarily caused by overuse or repetitive stress on the tendons that attach to the medial epicondyle (the bony bump on the inner side of the elbow). This overuse can result from various activities, including:
Golf: Repeatedly swinging a golf club can strain the forearm muscles and tendons, leading to a golfer's elbow.
Other sports: Sports that involve gripping, throwing, or racquet-based activities can also contribute to this condition.
Work-related activities: Certain occupations that require repetitive hand and wrist movements, such as plumbing or carpentry, can increase the risk.
Hobbies: Activities like gardening or playing musical instruments can lead to a golfer's elbow if done excessively.
Symptoms of golfer's elbow
The hallmark symptom of a golfer's elbow is pain and tenderness on the inner side of the elbow, which can radiate down the forearm. Other common symptoms include:
Stiffness: Reduced range of motion in the affected elbow.
Weakness: Decreased grip strength and difficulty with fine motor tasks.
Numbness and tingling: Some individuals may experience numbness or tingling in the fingers, typically the ring and little fingers.
Diagnosis of golfer's elbow
Consult with an expert: An Accredited Hand Therapist is a physiotherapist or occupational therapist with expertise in the finger, hand, wrist, elbow, and shoulder.
Diagnosing golfer's elbow generally involves:
Medical history: Your healthcare provider will inquire about your symptoms, activities, and any relevant medical history.
Physical examination: A physical examination to assess pain, tenderness, and range of motion in the elbow and forearm.
Imaging: X-rays or other imaging studies may be performed to rule out other conditions and assess the extent of any structural changes in the elbow.