Golfer's Elbow

Chartered Physiotherapy in Blackpool, St. Annes, Lytham, Poulton, Cleveleys and Fleetwood

What is golfer’s elbow?

Golfer’s elbow is an injury to the muscles that control the way your wrist and fingers flex, usually centring around the medial epicondyle – a bony bump on the inside of your elbow where the muscles attach. You’ll experience pain when trying to grip and problems with flexing your fingers and wrist, as well as some pain when the muscles are stretched. There’s also tenderness over the epicondyle, as well as trigger points in your wrist muscles. Some people also have stiffness in their neck and signs of median nerve irritation, although bending your elbow doesn’t cause most people pain.

What causes golfer’s elbow?

Golfer’s elbow stems from damaged muscle tissue where the muscle connects to the arm bone at the elbow, and usually happens after force is applied to the area that the tissues can’t handle. For acute (short term) golfer’s elbow this is usually the result of overuse; for chronic (long term) golfer’s elbow this is often due to the soft tissues being in poor health (degeneration), leaving them easily prone to injury. Generally affecting people aged between 35 and 50, it is usually found, unsurprisingly, in golfers as well as anyone who performs manual repetitive tasks at work.

How do you treat golfer’s elbow?

The first step is to rule out neck injuries. Recent research has uncovered that a significant number of people who believe they have tennis or golfer’s elbow actually have a problem with their neck joints (usually C67 which passes pain signals along the median nerve). As experienced chartered physiotherapists, we’re trained to pinpoint the epicentre of your condition and can spot cervical spine (neck) injuries.

If the cause is indeed a problem with your medial epicondyle, we’ll take a holistic and tailored approach to your treatment, which could include gentle mobilisation techniques, electrotherapy, protective strapping, massage, muscle stretches, neural mobilisations and strengthening exercises. We’ll always aim to reduce your pain, facilitate tissue repair, and restore your normal range of motion, function, strength and movement, as well as building towards your specific goals for recovery (such as returning to a particular sport).

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