Injuries and accidents are very common among athletes. However, these unfortunate instances can also be experienced by anyone who is not into sports. As we all know, any improper use of muscle or joint in the body can always lead to a certain type of injury especially if it is being done constantly. A very common example of this is known as the golfer’s elbow. So what is a golfer’s elbow and what are the different golfer’s elbow treatment exercises?
Definition of a Golfer’s Elbow
Golfer’s elbow is medically known as medial epicondylitis. This is also similar to a tennis elbow and is likewise considered as a cumulative trauma injury. This medical condition occurs due to the repeated use of the muscles located in the arm and the forearm that results to the formation of small tears in the tendons thus producing pain and weakness near the elbow region. This is called golfer’s elbow since golfers are usually the ones who experience this type of injury. However, golfer’s elbow can still happen to anyone even without playing golf.
Possible Causes of a Golfer’s Elbow
Although playing golf is a common cause of experiencing golfer’s elbow, any activity that requires the over use of the wrist extensors, which creates cumulative stress and minute tears to the tendon can lead to medial epicondylitis. These activities can cause inflammation and tenderness of the area thus causing tendinitis.
Symptoms of a Golfer’s Elbow
Pain felt on the inside portion of the elbow is the most significant or indicative symptom of medial epicondylitis. As the wrist if being flexed, pain in the affected area tends to increase and radiates towards the forearm. Other common symptoms of this type of injury includes the presence of a specific type of pain in the elbow especially while grabbing or grasping things, wrist weakness and the presence of pain during flexion of the wrist and the occurrence of pain and weakness during resistance to wrist pronation.
Treatment and Management of Golfer’s Elbow
Just like any other type of injury, the very first thing that needs to be done on managing the condition is to hinder any activities that can cause pain and discomfort in the area. The arm should be rested and the R.I.C.E. method in treating any form of injury must be followed (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation). By doing this first aid treatment, the chances of inflammation and swelling is decreased thus producing temporary pain relief of the area. Placing ice packs can also provide temporary analgesia from pain. Compressing it helps immobilizes the affected portion thus reducing any unnecessary movements that can cause more discomfort in the injury. One of the most effective compressing devices is known as the band-it elbow strap, which is common item used by most golfers. For more information on how to use this particular strap as well as other exercise methods that can help relieve golfer’s elbow, we can watch and learn more from this video
With the use of only conservative treatment, the injury can be resolved without any possible occurrence of any chronic problem. Tendinitis usually resolves in just a few days to a few weeks depending on the severity of the injury and the appropriateness of the interventions given. In case the condition worsens, visiting the doctor is already recommended. Anti inflammatory medications can also be used in reducing the swelling and pain in the area. Cortisone injections may also be used by some physicians in order to quickly relieve the discomfort.
Recommended Exercises for Golfer’s Elbow
Another effective way in treating or managing medial epicondylitis is by doing proper exercises on the area in order to reduce the pain and hasten the recovery of the tendons and the muscles. One of the most common treatment exercises used in golfer’s elbow is the strengthening of the elbow flexor muscles in order to overcome the condition. In providing quick recovery for medial epicondylitis, strengthening of the elbow muscles with pain free repetitions and minimal resistance must be done initially. This is usually started with 2 to 3 sets with 3 to 5 minutes of specific exercise without any resistance. This is then increased over time until the area is capable of doing more activity and motion without producing any pain and discomfort in the affected portion.
Below are some of the exercises that are useful in overcoming golfer’s elbow. These should follow the mentioned dosage above in order to achieve safe and optimum recovery of the muscles and tendons.
• Open-Close Hand Repetition – This simple drill is done by fully opening and closing the fingers alternately while the affected elbow is being extended. This must be done within 30 seconds for 3 sets.
• Supination-Pronation Exercises – These simple movements recreates the rotational component of the golf swing as related to the elbow. In doing this, a hammer must be held with the elbow in bent position. The palm should then be rotated open and close. The heavier the head of the hammer or the farther the grip is from the head, the more difficult the exercise will become.
These are just some of the effective exercises that we could do in order to provide faster recovery and better relief on the affected area of the injury. Nevertheless, consultation from our doctors is still the best option before trying out any of these exercise methods that can help reduce or treat golfer’s elbow.