Is Golfer’s Elbow Keeping You from the Back Nine?
Medial epicondylitis, more commonly known as golfer’s elbow, is a condition that causes pain on the inner side of the elbow. Similar to tennis elbow – albeit less common – golfer’s elbow results from overusing the muscles in the forearm. For those suffering from medial epicondylitis, chiropractic care, like that provided by Irondequoit Chiropractic Center, may speed up the recovery process, so they can return to daily functioning and hit the links once again.
In a majority of cases, golfer’s elbow strikes the dominant arm. And while the name may imply otherwise, this condition can affect golfers and non-athletes alike. The pain and occasional swelling caused by golfer’s elbow stem from the bony bump on the inner side of the elbow. However, pain can radiate into the forearm, creating further discomfort.
A number of repetitive motions, such as flexing, gripping and swinging, can lead to pulls or micro tears in the tendons. When these tiny tears occur, the body’s natural healing process will fail to regenerate normal tendons, resulting in golfer’s elbow. While the condition may occur abruptly as the result of trauma, medial epicondylitis might also result from an excessive stretching, eccentric overload or disease of a tendon, known as tendinopathy.
Golfer’s elbow is most prominent in populations that participate in activities such as golfing, throwing, racquet sports and baseball. Other potential triggers of golfer’s elbow include weight training, bowling, javelin throwing, football, archery, painting, raking, hammering, chopping wood, using a computer, performing assembly-line work and cooking. Those at a higher risk of developing golfer’s elbow include people who are ages 40 years and older, have Type II diabetes, are obese or smoke.
Medial epicondylitis presents as a dull aching pain over the affected elbow, and the pain usually worsens with use. More severe cases of golfer’s elbow may result in grip weakness and limitations in daily living, from shaking hands to opening jars.
When it comes to diagnosing golfer’s elbow, doctors usually perform what’s referred to as a golfer’s elbow test. While the patient is seated with their palms resting on their knees, the doctor will grasp the patient’s hand and elbow and simultaneously turn the hand while extending the wrist and elbow. If the pain can be reproduced, it may suggest that medial epicondylitis is at play.
On some occasions, especially in cases of trauma, a doctor may order an X-ray or MRI to rule out stress fractures, infection, tumors and other conditions.
Treatment of golfer’s elbow typically consists of chiropractic adjustment, soft tissue manipulation, stretching and myofascial release techniques to promote flexibility of forearm muscles, cervical spine manipulation and eccentric rehabilitation/strengthening of the wrist flexors and forearm pronators.
Because unmanaged golfer’s elbow can cause the sufferer to experience prolonged discomfort for extended periods of time, even more than a year, it’s critical to seek treatment if pain persists over two weeks or affects your day-to-day functioning. For experienced chiropractic care for suspected or diagnosed golfer’s elbow, turn to Irondequoit Chiropractic Center, located at 2164 Hudson Ave. in Rochester, NY. A team of neuromusculoskeletal specialists are standing by to help alleviate your pain and develop an effective treatment plan to have you feeling like new. Contact the office at 585-467-7070 to schedule an initial consultation.