Golfers Elbow, Not As Prevalent As Tennis Elbow

Golfers Elbow, Not As Prevalent As Tennis Elbow

What Is Golfer’s Elbow?

Like tennis elbow, golfers elbow is a soft tissue injury of the elbow. Just as tennis elbow isn’t reserved exclusively for tennis players, golfer’s elbow is not prevalent among only golfers. Any recreational, occupational, or sporting activity involving repeated gripping, twisting or lifting may contribute to the development of symptoms. Some of the muscles involved in these gripping actions attached from a common tendon at the “bony bump” on the inside of your elbow known as the medial epicondyle. This common flexor tendon origin or around 1-2 cms distal to the origin point is the common site of pain with a golfers elbow.

Symptoms Indicating You May Have Golfers Elbow

As briefly discussed above the discomfort associated with golfers elbow will typically be associated with gripping activities. Everyday actions like shaking someone’s hand, opening a jam jar, or simply turning a door knob may cause significant pain. The onset of symptoms may be either sudden, or gradual, seemingly striking out of nowhere following a golf swing, or presenting as a vague awareness something isn’t quite right at the inside area of the elbow following a day of DIY around home. Come Common Signs and Symptoms Include: The most common symptom is pain, pain lifting, gripping, or twisting actions. Other signs and symptoms include:
  • Stiffness. Most of the time unless acutely inflamed basic elbow movements straightening, bending, twisting the arm will all be full and pain-free. However, many patients will report a sensation of stiffness at the elbow with some movements, particularly stiff when moving following sustained periods of inactivity.
  • Tenderness. Sensitivity to palpation of the elbow directly over the bony bump on the inside of the elbow (medial epicondyle) on the inside of your elbow, frequently extending down the upper forearm area.
  • Discomfort stretching. Many patients will find that they experience pain stretching their forearm muscles, whereby with either a bent of straight elbow and the palm facing upwards the fingertips are stretched down towards the floor.
  • Neck stiffness. Less common symptoms include neck tenderness and stiffness, including signs of nerve irritation.

Who Is At Risk Of Developing Golfers Elbow?

Singular, or repetitive gripping, lifting or twisting forces beyond what the tissue can tolerate may cause symptoms of golfers elbow to develop. In sport, improper lifting, throwing, or hitting techniques are commonly implicated, as are training errors which can include poor conditioning for the sport and progression of training load changes too quickly. Not confined to one sport, or any one activity, golfers elbow is thought to be associated with degenerative changes in the soft tissue. Chopping wood, hammering, painting, raking, cooking, screwdriving you name it… Any activity where there has been a dramatic increase in duration, frequency or load may trigger the onset of some medial elbow pain. Patients may be at higher risk of developing golfers elbow if:
  • They are aged > 40 years old.
  • Are a smoker.
  • Are obese.
  • And consistently perform repetitive activities involving gripping for at least a couple of hours a day, day on day, week on week.
If you suspect you may have golfers elbow and are seeking treatment then our Randwick physio team at the Movement Centre are ready to help treat your symptoms and get you back doing what you love, pain free.
Disclaimer: The Movement Centre provides this information as an educational service. The information contained on this website and in this blog is not intended to serve as or replace actual medical advice. Anyone seeking specific advice or assistance should consult their local Randwick Physio, general practitioner, medical specialist, or otherwise appropriately skilled practitioner.