GOLFER'S ELBOW OR INSIDE ELBOW PAIN
WHAT IS IT?
Golfer’s elbow is a pain on the inside of the elbow just on or around the prominent lump on the inside of your arm. This is where all the muscles that flex and rotate the wrist attach and we call this the medial epicondyle. With an abundance of muscle attachments in a small area this location is prone to irritation.
In the video below Adrian from iMove Physio Miranda explains and shows the pronator teres muscle which attaches onto this site and often becomes irritated and inflamed. It can get a little grumpy when the muscle and tendon unit is overworked or inappropriately stressed.
HOW DOES IT HAPPEN?
Golfer’s elbow can happen in several circumstances.
It can happen if you are doing a new activity you haven’t done for awhile like putting together IKEA furniture for 8 hours.
It can happen if you are doing too much of the same activity like repairing cars, pitching or throwing sports.
It can happen when your muscles are constantly stressed in a low-level activity like computer work.
Any of these stresses can cause the muscles and tendons on the inside elbow to become painful and irritated.
WHAT SHOULD I DO?
Your first goal should be to settle down symptoms by identifying and reducing the offending activity. If it’s computer or repair work then trial cutting time doing that activity by 50%.
If you can’t do that, trial having a rest and stretch break every 30-minutes. You might try a simple wrist back stretch or the ball release that Adrian showed above.
If you can’t do that trial using a brace or taping strategy during your work. Your local health professional can recommend a brace or taping technique that will reduce the amount of movement and therefore strain on the wrist and elbow muscles.
All these options will help to settle the irritation down. At that point you should seek out 1-2 releases or stretches to help calm the muscles down. In the video above Adrian shows you a simple home release for these muscles.
Once the symptoms are calming down we want to strengthen the muscles and keep the pain away. The best way to do this is via strengthening the muscles that have been irritated. Adrian from iMove Physio Miranda shows you a simple exercise you can do at home with a counter weight, dumbbell or hammer. Check out the exercise here;
HOW LONG CAN IT TAKE?
Elbow tendon problems can settle very quickly if you catch them quickly. After an acute bout of IKEA furniture building it is not uncommon to have sudden pain but with physio, it can settle for 1-2 weeks with the right treatment.
If your pain has been around for longer it often requires a full course of 8-12 weeks of strengthening and in this time there can be many ups and downs. The trick is loading the muscles and tendons enough to get them better but not so much that they become more irritated. You and your physio may find this point 2-3 times in your treatment pathway but it is important to view this as a positive and use it as a measuring stick for progression rather than give up and stop exercises.
Your elbow pain can often come from higher up the chain like your shoulder or neck. It is very common that people with elbow pain have muscles around their neck and shoulder that are tonic. It is also common that your neck rotation and neck joints may be stiffer on that side. It’s worth just screening how your neck feels and how the rotation left to right is. This might give you and your physio a clue that your neck needs some work as well. Often freeing up the neck can make everything down the chain easier.
Any Further Questions;
If you have Golfer’s elbow or pain in and around your elbow areas please get in touch with us for more personalized care, feel free to email us or book in online at 1 of our 3 locations in Sydney;
iMove Physio Miranda: (https://imovephysio.com.au/miranda/)
iMove Physio Panania: (https://imovephysio.com.au/panania/)
iMove Physio Rozelle: (https://imovephysio.com.au/rozelle/)