If you are experiencing pain on the inside of your elbow, then that could be something called a golfer’s elbow. Now, you don’t have to be playing golf to get a golfer’s elbow. That is why you should stick around and read through this post. You will learn everything that you need to know about the golfer’s elbow, starting from anatomy all the way to the treatment and tools that can lessen the symptoms.
The inner bulge of the elbow, known as the medial epicondyle, is where a golfer’s elbow discomfort begins. The forearm muscles known as wrist flexors are responsible for bringing the hand forward. On the palm side of the forearm are the wrist flexors. On the medial epicondyle, there is a single primary tendon where the majority of the wrist flexors attach. Common flexor tendon refers to this tendon.
The muscle is joined to bone through the tendon. Collagen fibers form the basis of tendon structure. In bundles close to one another, the collagen strands are arranged.
Tendons have a high tensile strength due to the lined-up collagen strands. This indicates that they are strong enough to resist strong forces that tug on both ends of the tendon. Muscle contractions cause the tendon’s distal end to pull. The bone moves as a result of the tendon pulling on the bone at its opposite end.
The wrist flexor muscles tighten when you hold something, bend your forearm downward, or flex your wrist. The flexor tendon is pulled by muscles that are contracting. When you grip a golf club during a golf swing or perform other comparable motions, the tendon may experience increasing forces pulling on it.
Causes Of Golfer’s Elbow
Inflammation may occasionally be the cause of the symptoms of a golfer’s elbow. The body responds to acute damage by inducing inflammation. To aid in tissue healing, certain inflammatory cells move to the wounded areas. The word’s ending “-itis” denotes conditions that entail inflammation. For instance, tendinitis refers to inflammation of a tendon. The term “medial epicondylitis” refers to the inflammation surrounding the medial epicondyle.
Inflammation, however, is not always the root of the golfer’s elbow. It is instead a condition that affects the tendon’s cells. Tendonosis is the term used by doctors to describe this condition. Wear and tear are considered to cause tissue deterioration in tendinosis. Collagen strands are often arranged abnormally in a degenerating tendon.
Nobody is completely certain of the specific cause of tendonitis. Some medical professionals believe that excessive exercise causes tiny tears to form in the forearm tendon. Although the tears attempt to repair, ongoing stress and overuse keep harming the tendon repeatedly. The tendons eventually give up on trying to repair. The damaged tissues remain weak and uncomfortable because the scar tissue is never given the chance to properly heal.
When your symptoms are severe, rest for a few days. Whenever you are doing any painful motions, stop. Adjust or adapt the motions as much as possible if you must perform them for a job. Raise your elbow over your heart to reduce swelling.
Warm and Cold
Apply an ice pack or heating pad to the injured region. To prevent it from coming into touch with your skin, wrap it in a towel. Every few hours, perform this for 10 to 15 minutes at a time.Preferably you can mix the exposure to heat and ice. Meaning put a heat pad on the affected area for 10min and directly after ice the painful area, or vice versa. Doing this will provide better blood circulation which leads to faster healing time.
You may purchase heating pads and ice packs online or at your neighborhood drugstore in addition to making your own DIY heat and cold remedies.
Medication or Supplements
To ease discomfort, take anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs). Take them before the discomfort gets worse or more extreme. Never exceed the specified dosage and don’t use painkillers for longer than 10 days at a time.
Turmeric, willow bark, and cloves are all natural pain relievers.
Visit Physical Therapist
Your physical therapist will provide you with specific information, advice, and exercises that you should follow. The rehabilitation plan will always be individually adapted, meaning your needs will be taken into consideration. But I will give you a general image of what your rehabilitation period will look like.
A golfer’s elbow will follow three phases. The first phase is when there’s a lot of inflammation, and pain is intense. This is the worst stage of them all. Things will be very painful. It will be very tender to touch. You won’t be able to pick much up. You won’t be able to touch it.
You won’t be able to do much because of the pain, but over time that inflammation dies down because the body is patching up those tendons. It’s trying to repair it, and you end up with sort of a lower level of pain, but it’s more constant.
So this becomes more chronic. Now, as it repairs it, rather than the tendons being aligned in a nice straight formation, they end up being almost glued together in a knot. It becomes more fibrous and acts almost as scar tissue. This makes the affected area pretty painful to touch.
So, the point of phase two is then to start to stretch. Once you stretch, you’re starting to lengthen those tendons and muscles and get that movement back through the elbow.
Then once you’ve done that for a period of time, we go into phase three, which is to strengthen the arm. What that does is that forces the tendons or it pulls the tendons, which forces it to remodel back to this sort of nice, straight formation that it should’ve been.
Treatment Tools For Golfer’s Elbow
A massage ball is a great tool to reduce the pain that you are feeling. They come in different sizes, shapes, and materials and are cheap. Just make sure to get hard one. Now, the most important aspect of using the massage ball is how to use it correctly for the best effect.
You may have seen some people rolling up and down along tendons with a massage ball.All that’s going to do is inflame the tendons. If you do that, you’re just going to make your pain worse. So what happens is when you’re rolling on the ball, you’re feeling pain. Nerves are sending signals up to the brain, which tells your brain there’s pain. Those signals then come down to the muscles and tell the muscles to tighten as a way of trying to protect them.
So, if you’re constantly doing this, then you’re constantly stimulating the pain signals, the pain nerves.
But if you are pressing on and you relax, then over time those pain signals start to die down and your body can then relax the muscles.
So hold this for up to a minute, and then move it closer to the elbow, again, looking for tender points. Hold that for a minute when you find the tender point, and then move that again a bit further up until you get right up to that bone. Work on that area for an extended period of time, every other day. We do not want to overwork the area and make it sore.
Golfer’s Elbow Brace
The majority of golfer’s elbow braces include hook and loop closures and a raised cushioned surface that you place directly over your injured muscle.
When you tighten the strap, the elevated region immediately places more pressure on the muscles impacted below the uncomfortable elbow attachment.
The strap’s pressure lessens the discomfort and tension on those muscles. Utilize it as a temporary solution while you and your physical therapist work on a permanent solution.
Since many individuals find elbow braces to be quite beneficial, some golfers may never be able to get rid of the nagging sensation of it sliding and scrunching about the joint.
As we all know, even the smallest loss in focus may result in a bad golf shot, thus a false mental fear of a brace may render it useless for certain players.
The Sleeve Stars Counterforce Brace Elbow Forearm Band is unique in that it minimizes the probability of tendinitis without covering the elbow joint. This brace fits comfortably behind the elbow and is tightly wrapped around the forearm. The ingenious design has a soothing effect, offering localized compression and reducing elbow stress.
Recommended Sleeve Brace
The Kunto Fitness Elbow Brace Compression Support Sleeve is intended for golfers who are returning from injury or who have long-term, nagging elbow discomfort that requires some support to handle during a game.
This brace will give additional elbow stability while remaining thin, flexible, and lightweight, allowing for the complete range of motion essential for a solid golf swing.
Proprioception, or the amount of feedback supplied to sensory neurons, is similarly improved by compression. When you wear this brace, your body is more conscious of the movement of the muscles around the elbow, resulting in better joint control and stability.