Golfer’s elbow, also known as medial epicondylitis, is a painful condition affecting your forearm’s tendons. It typically occurs due to overuse of the muscles and tendons on the inside of your elbow (medial epicondyle). The pain may radiate into your wrist and fingers and, if left untreated, can become chronic.
Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to help prevent and treat this condition. So, if you are struggling with golfer’s elbow, there’s no need to despair. Here’s what you need to know about golfer’s elbow and how physical therapy treatments can help.
What’s the Difference Between Golfer’s Elbow and Tennis Elbow?
While golfer’s elbow and tennis elbow are similar conditions, and some people even use the terms interchangeably, the two conditions are not the same. In fact, there are distinct differences between the two conditions.
Golfer’s elbow is an inflammation of the tendons on the medial epicondyle (the inner part of your elbow). In contrast, tennis elbow is a condition that affects the lateral epicondyle (the outer part of your elbow). The tendons affected by the golfer’s elbow are used for gripping, while the tendons affected by the tennis elbow are for extending your wrist, hence the names.
Golfer’s Elbow Symptoms and When to See a Professional
The symptoms of golfer’s elbow include pain directly over the medial epicondyle, tenderness when pressure is applied, and weakness in your wrist and fingers. Symptoms usually worsen when you grip things or use your wrist and elbow in any activity involving movements, such as playing golf, baseball, and frisbee.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is best to seek professional advice. Over-the-counter medications can provide temporary relief, but they won’t eliminate the cause of the pain or help prevent a recurrence. Professional golfer’s elbow treatment may involve stretching and strengthening exercises, physical therapy modalities such as ultrasound or electrical stimulation, and injections with platelet-rich plasma and stem cells. In some cases, surgery may be recommended. Our professionals at USA Sports are able to provide helpful solutions for you.
Physical Therapy for Golfer’s Elbow
The best treatment for a golfer’s elbow is physical therapy. A physical therapist can provide stretching and strengthening exercises to help reduce pain and improve flexibility. They may also use modalities such as ultrasound, electrical stimulation, or dry needling to help relax the muscles in the affected area and reduce inflammation.
Stretching, strengthening exercises for golfer’s elbow, and other therapeutic interventions should be done on a regular basis, as this will help keep the tissues healthy and prevent the further onset of pain. Your specific treatments will vary depending on the severity of your condition and should be discussed with a professional therapist.
Activities to Avoid if You Have Golfer’s Elbow
Golfer’s elbow can be aggravated by certain activities, such as golfing, throwing a ball, racquet sports, or any activity that involves repetitive arm movements. It is best to avoid these activities until your injury has healed. Additionally, it is important to avoid heavy lifting and contact sports because these can further damage the affected area.
It is important to listen to your body and rest when needed. Visit your nearest USA Sports in South Florida for professional advice as soon as possible. When you experience pain or discomfort in an area affected by golfer’s elbow, stop what you are doing and take some time off from the activities that aggravate your condition. This will help prevent aggravation of the injury and allow for proper healing.
Where to Find a Therapist for Golfer’s Elbow
Our orthopedic certified physical therapists at USA Sports Medicine clinics are experts in diagnosing and treating various conditions and diseases, including golfer’s elbow, one of the most common issues treated at our clinics. Dr. Edward Esposito is one of our many professionals at USA Sports in Kendall that can help treat golfer’s elbow.
Our physical therapists will work with you to design a personalized golfer’s elbow treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. We will also provide education on proper form and technique during activities that could aggravate the condition or cause further injury if not done correctly.
If you think you may be suffering from golfer’s elbow, don’t wait – contact us today for an appointment, so we can get you back on the golf course and living your best life.