Golfer’s Elbow Treatment
Golf… What Could Go Wrong?
Medial epicondylitis, also known as Golfer’s Elbow, is a condition that causes pain where the tendons of the forearm muscles attach to the bone on the inside of the elbow. Golfer’s Elbow is similar to Tennis Elbow, but it occurs on the medial (inner) part of the elbow instead of the lateral (outer) part of the elbow. Up to 10% of reported elbow pain is caused by Golfer’s Elbow.
Golfer’s Elbow Treatment
Golfer’s Elbow involves the tendons and muscles attached to the medial epicondyle. The two muscles that can be involved in Golfer’s Elbow are the Pronator Teres and Flexor Carpi Radialis. The Pronator Teres pronates the forearm, meaning that it would cause the forearm and palm to move in a rotational motion to face the floor if held parallel to the floor. The Flexor Carpi Radialis muscles, on the palm side of the forearm, flex the wrist and fingers. Most of the wrist flexors attach to one main tendon on the medial epicondyle called the Common Flexor Tendon. When you grip with your hand, flex your wrist, or twist your forearm down, then your wrist flexor muscles contract and pull on the flexor tendon. Gripping a golf club during a golf swing (and other similar movements) can increase the tension in this tendon.
Golfer’s Elbow is similar to Tennis Elbow, but it occurs on the medial (inner) part of the elbow instead of the lateral (outer) part of the elbow. Up to 10% of reported elbow pain is caused by Golfer’s Elbow.
Symptoms and Causes of Golfer’s Elbow
The main symptom of Golfer’s Elbow is pain and tenderness on the inside of your elbow, which may appear suddenly or develop over time. Pain usually starts at the inside of the elbow and may spread down the inner side of your forearm and wrist. You may feel weakness or pain in your hand and wrist when you make a fist or grasp items. A numbness or tingling sensation that radiates into one or more fingers is also common. The pain may get worse when you bend or flex your wrist, twist your forearm down, grasp objects, or pick up something with your palm up. Swinging a golf club or tennis racket, pitching a ball, or lifting weights may also increase the pain.
The golf swing is a common cause of Golfer’s Elbow, however, overuse and repetitive daily activities including gardening, carpentry, cooking, and computer work can lead to this condition. Activities that put too much stress on the same forearm muscles and elbow tendons, use forceful wrist and finger movements, or cause you to bend and straighten your elbow repeatedly can damage the tendons and muscles that control your wrist and fingers. Incorrect lifting, throwing, or hitting, as well as, poor conditioning and insufficient warm-up can contribute to Golfer’s Elbow. In golf, improper gripping and swinging of the clubs can damage your muscles and tendons. Athletes in a variety of sports can develop Golfer’s Elbow, including: golf, tennis, softball, football, archery, weight training, and swimming.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Golfer’s Elbow
Golfer’s Elbow is not the only cause of elbow pain, so it is important to get evaluated by a physician to determine a diagnosis. Left untreated, Golfer’s Elbow can lead to chronic elbow pain or limit the range of motion. If you are suffering with elbow pain and ready to be evaluated, our doctors at Houston Spine and Sports Medicine have years of experience treating elbow pain and offer multiple nonsurgical treatment options for their patients. During your initial evaluation, the physician will get a medical history, complete a physical exam, and determine if any diagnostic imaging such as a MRI needs to be completed. Onsite diagnostic ultrasound is available to evaluate the health of your musculoskeletal structures and tendons. Once you have been evaluated, our physicians determine a treatment plan best suited for your condition.
Dr. Shaun Lehmann strives to treat elbow pain with nonsurgical treatment options that help your body to naturally heal itself. There are multiple nonsurgical treatments available at Houston Spine and Sports Medicine, such as Physical Therapy, Prolotherapy, and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP). Our physicians are ready to help you determine the course of treatment that is best for you.
Houston Spine and Sports Medicine is located The Woodlands, Texas. We are easily reached from Conroe, Tomball, Cypress, Kingwood, Magnolia and most other areas of Houston.