Could Golfer's Elbow Be The Pain In Your Arm?
Updated: Nov 8
Golfers elbow is an overuse 'tendinopathy' mainly due to overuse of concentric or eccentric loading of the wrist flexors and pronator teres. The repetitive action causes micro-tears within the tendon. It can also occur from a sudden violent contraction of the surrounding muscles. It is seen more commonly in men than women, between the ages of 40 and 60, and as it is named, most often occurs in people who play golf.
Typically, people who suffer from this have a history of an acute traumatic blow or repetitive elbow or gripping use. The aching pain will happen on the medial or ulnar side of the elbow, radiating down into the forearm or wrist. Alongside stiffness, weakness, numbness, or tingling. The pain often worsens with forearm motion, gripping or throwing. These movements mostly occur in golf, specifically overhead throwing, or forearm tennis strokes.
How to know if you have this?
You may be suffering from the symptoms, however, without professional testing, there is no way to be certain.
The main test used by clinicians to discover the golfer's elbow is for the patient to resists wrist flexion with the arm in extension and supination. Then, to rule out any other causes of elbow pain, ultrasound or an MRI can be used.
Ultrasound is quick and easy for clinicians to use and the least stressful modality of testing to evaluate the muscles and tendons within.
The MRI allows for a much more detailed view of the elbow which can rule out many more possibilities like ligament strains or osteoarthritis issues.
What treatment can occur?
Most cases are treated non-surgically, which is the preferred choice for many. Firstly, time should be taken away from the activity causing the pain to reduce the swelling and inflammation that can occur; however, this may be unavoidable if the patient's careers are what is causing this.
One of the most effective treatments for a golfer's elbow is physical therapy. Physical therapy can help to stretch and strengthen the muscles and tendons around the elbow, which can help to reduce pain and improve the range of motion.
Other treatments for golfer's elbow include rest, ice, and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications.
If these conservative treatments do not provide relief, a GP may recommend a cortisone or steroid injection or surgery. MSKdoctors provide PRP treatment instead of these injections due to the higher success rate which you can find out more about through the link to a previous blog. The PRP treatment will be the first call before surgery as this is the last resort, and can be easily avoided.
If you think are suffering from golfer's elbow, visit MSKdoctors about the best treatment options for you.