Golfer’s elbow is the name given to pain experienced on the inner aspect of the elbow, usually as a result of overuse.
It arises due to overloading of the flexor tendons of the forearm.
It is often referred to as a ‘golfer’s elbow’ due to the fact that this tendon bears high load when playing golf. Excessive right wrist flexion (bending the wrist in the direction of the palm) in a right handed golfer may be responsible.
Although golf players can develop a golfers elbow the vast majority of individuals who develop symptoms do so as a result of repetitive flexion at the wrist while performing lifting and carrying tasks. Hence the term medial epicondylitis is frequently used.
How is a golfer's elbow treated?
It can be managed very effectively by adhering to the following advice and exercise routine.
Modifying aggravating activities
If there are some particularly stressful tasks such as golf or DIY which seem to be aggravating your symptoms, then the common flexor tendon may need 4-6 weeks of relative rest initially to settle symptoms while you work on strengthening the wrist flexor muscles in the forearm and the common flexor tendon.
Regular exercises to strengthen the wrist flexor muscles and tendon in the forearm and stretch the extensor muscles.
These are suggested exercises only. If you are at all concerned about whether these exercises are suitable for you or if you experience any pain while doing them, please seek appropriate clinical advice from your GP or Physiotherapist.
Corticosteroid injection therapy
Evidence suggests that corticosteroid injections are best avoided as patient’s symptoms are more likely to get better quicker without. The steroid injection may weaken the tendon in the longer term. However, injections may be discussed with individuals who continue to suffer disabling pain (preventing work and leisure activities) and have failed physiotherapy management. You can read more about local corticosteroid injections here: Steroid Injections | Side-effects, uses, time to work (versusarthritis.org)