04/09/2021 / Health and Fitness

Golfers Elbow Treatment and Exercises

Golfer's elbow is a disease in which the tendons that connect the forearm and elbow experience pain, inflammation, and tenderness. Here's all about the symptoms and causes of Golfer's elbow, along with the exercises and home treatment used to treat them.

Golfers Elbow Treatment and Exercises
Mazia AhmedMazia Ahmed

Mazia Ahmed

MSc Nutrition Science, Ph.D. Scholar

Table of Contents

Introduction

Golfer's elbow, or in medical terms medial epicondylitis, is a disease in which the tendons that connect the forearm and elbow experience pain, inflammation, and tenderness. This situation is caused due to overuse or tear of tendons, bones, and muscles. This is a form of tendonitis whose pain centers at the bony bump in the elbow and moves slowly towards the forearm. This isn't very common like tennis elbow, which is also a form of elbow tendonitis.

4 primary symptoms of Golfer's Elbow

The common symptoms observed by the person suffering from Golfer's elbow are as follows:

1. Stiffened elbow

2. The feeling of pain or tenderness in the inner side of the elbow or forearm. Mostly, the pain is experienced while doing specific movements like swinging hands, etc. 

3. Fingers get numb. 

4. Hands and wrists' weakness can be felt. 

5 Major Causes of Golfer's Elbow

Before learning about the exercises and treatment procedures of a golfer's elbow, a person needs to know about the causes of the Golfer's elbow. 

1. The most common cause of Golfer's elbow is overuse of forearms while doing certain jobs like swinging and flexing repetitively. 

2. Sports that use a racket to play like tennis, badminton, etc. 

3. Jobs or sports that require a lot of throwing like in construction works, baseball, etc. 

4. Continuous or repetitive movement of the arms can cause Golfer's elbow. 

5. While doing weight lifting in the gym. 

Golfers Elbow Treatment And Exercises

4 Top Exercises to Prevent Golfer's Elbow

  • Golfer's elbow can be prevented or treated by doing certain exercises that can help build the arms' strength and increase flexibility. These exercises can be done two times a day or after doing the activities that can cause stress or strain in the arms. While doing these exercises, a person should make sure that these exercises are performed gently without any forcible movement. Moreover, do not perform any exercise excessively initially, but exercise should be increased gradually to increase the effect. 

  • Other preventive measures that should be kept in mind while doing these exercises are experiencing sensations, aches, and slight discomfort. But, make sure that these symptoms are not getting severe. In case of severity, it is recommended to take sufficient rest before resuming the exercises. If the pain persists, then consult the doctor for medication and further procedures. Below some of the good exercises for Golfer's elbow are mentioned that will be effective in its treatment and as preventive measures. 

1. Isometric Wrist Strengthening (Extension)

To perform this exercise, make sure that you sit in front of a table or on a chair. To begin with, keep the body straight and still throughout the exercise process. 

  • First, place the forearm of the affected hand on the table or the arms of the chair.  

  • Now, keep the palm closed of the affected hand and place it facing downwards. 

  • Then, take the other hand and place it over the affected palm. 

  • Now, function both the palms where the affected palm presses up and the other palm will put a resistant force on it. 

  • Initially, for at least 10 seconds, do this exercise gently with lower resistance. But, later on, slowly increase the resistance on the palm. 

  • Do this exercise for about 15 repetitions at a time to get better results. 

2. Isometric Wrist Strengthening (Flexion)

This exercise is almost similar to the above exercise but an effective one for treating Golfer's elbow. To do this exercise properly, sit straight and still, maintaining the posture throughout the exercise. 

  • Place the affected hand on the table or chair arms and close your fist. Make sure that the fist or the palm is facing upwards. 

  • Now, it's time to place the other palm on the affected palm. 

  • Then, start raising your affected palm slowly upwards and simultaneously put resistance on the affected palm using the other palm. 

  • Do this whole process for at least 10 seconds, and then slowly increase the resistance on the palm. 

  • It is suggested to complete at least 15 repetitions at a time to get desired results. 

Golfers Elbow Treatment And Exercises

3. Resisted Wrist (Extension)

This exercise is highly beneficial in building strength and increasing the flexibility of the wrist. To do this exercise, grab a lightweight material or a lightweight dumbbell. 

  • Place your hands on a table or sides of a chair and hold a lightweight dumbbell in the hand that is affected. 

  • Ensure that the wrist is in a hanging position and the rest of the arm is placed on the table. 

  • In the next step, slowly lower your wrist down and then raise it to the initial position. This completes one rep for you.

  • But, to get the results you need, you must do at least 2-3 sets of 15 repetitions each. 

4. Resisted Wrist (Flexion)

This exercise is also meant for making the wrist stronger and flexible. Moreover, this exercise is just as opposite to the resisted wrist extension. 

  • To start with the exercise, make sure you sit comfortably and then place your hand on a table. 

  • Keep your palm hanging, and then hold a lightweight dumbbell in your palm. 

  • Start moving your palms downward with the weight and then rise to the original position. 

  • Do repeat this exercise for 15 repetitions in a set and continue this for at least 2-3 sets a day. 

5. Golfer's Elbow Stretch

This is a gentle stretch for the arms, and the effect of this stretch can be observed in the underside of the arms. 

  • To begin the exercise, you need to stand straight for better posture. 

  • Then extend the arm that is affected in front of you. Make sure the stretched arm and the palm are facing upward, and the fingers are pointed. 

  • Then use the other hand and hold the fingers of the affected arm. 

  • Now, start pulling the fingers gently down towards the body. Hold the position for at least 30 seconds to complete one round.

  • The effect can be felt on the arms clearly, and it should be done 2-5 times a day for better results. 

6 Important Preventive Measures for Golfer's Elbow

Prevention of Golfer's elbow is possible through the following methods:

1. Forearm muscles get affected first in the Golfer's elbow, and hence, strengthening them will prevent you from the Golfer's elbow. To strengthen the forearm muscles, lightweight lifting or squeezing sponge balls for five minutes a day will be effective.

2. If you are a golfer, make a slight change in the swinging technique. It will be beneficial for your arms to slow down the swing as it will allow your arms to get less shock.

3. While doing tasks, maintain the required posture to avoid overloading your muscles. 

4. For golfers, it's essential to replace their heavy clubs with light graphite clubs. 

5. Keep your body hydrated before and after doing every task. 

6. Another preventive measure that can be taken to avoid Golfer's elbow is to do warm-up exercises before doing any activity. The reason behind warm-up is it keeps the muscle temperature high and keeps the blood flowing, which means it prepares the muscle for intense activities. The warm-up exercises that can be included are stretching various parts like shoulders, arms, and back. If you are already in pain, you can use counterforce braces or a splint to help you distribute the tension throughout the tendon and muscle. 

5 Effective Home Treatment for Golfer's Elbow

If it's the initial stage of Golfer's elbow, it can be cured with home treatments, or else in severity, the doctor consultation is recommended. Below we have mentioned some of the remedies for curing Golfer's elbow at home. 

5 Effective Home Treatment for Golfer's Elbow

  1. Taking Rest: Resting is the best way to cure Golfer's elbow and avoid those movements that cause pain to you. 

  2. Heat And Ice Treatment: Treat the affected area with a hot water bag or ice pack to relieve the pain. But, don't apply them directly; instead, wrap them with a towel to apply. Do it for at least 10-15 minutes in a few hours a day. 

  3. Pain Relievers: Taking pain relievers isn't an ideal solution, but it's the only solution when the pain is severe. But, avoid taking pain relievers for a more extended period.  

  4. Take a Massage Session: Booking for a massage session is also an effective way to treat Golfer's elbow. Continue this until you feel cured of Golfer's elbow. 

  5. Ergonomics: If you feel the pain in only a few positions, then try to modify the position in which you feel better. 

Word of Wisdom

This isn't a severe issue as this can be cured with proper treatment, even at home. But, it's better to take prevention before getting affected with Golfer's elbow. If you are affected by this, you can go for the above exercises to cure it comfortably. But, it is always advised to visit a doctor when the pain increases, even after exercises and other remedies. 


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