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Golfer's Elbow Hand Physiotherapy

Golfer's Elbow (medial epicondylitis) is inflammation and pain experienced over the inner part of the elbow, that can radiate down the inner part of the forearm

And though the common name of this elbow condition is called "Golfer's Elbow" yet it doesn't just affect golf enthusiasts or players. In fact, this elbow pain is very commonly seen in:

  • men or women
  • employees, workers, housewives or any occupations
  • age between 30-55 years old

symptoms of golfer's elbow

Golfer's elbow always starts as:

  • tenderness (pain to the touch)
  • swelling
  • pain (aching, throbbing, sharp with resistance)
  • inflammation

at the location of the inner part of the elbow (this is where the flexer tendons of the forearm originate from.

In the early stages, it can be just mild pains (sharp, throbbing) and weakness; but if left untreated, it can be very knife-sharp pains and locking of the joint.

what causes golfer's elbow to develop?

The main causing agent or aggravating factor is generally:

  • sustained/prolonged resisted gripping activity
  • aggravated with motion eg gripping against resistance and turning
  • aggravated with repetition eg doing it again and again

Examples of such exercises and activities include:

  • straining wet mops, cloth, towel, clothes
  • weight lifting
  • using tools like hammers, pliers, screwdrivers
  • rock climbing
  • etc

Many patients often ignore the pain because they're busy, preoccupied with responsibilities and enjoying their sports/life, and yes, in the short run, the main is very mild and tolerable.

But over time, if golfer's elbow remains untreated and patient continues to participate in sports and activities that aggravate the condition more:

  • damage to the tendon increases, resulting in more inflammation and swelling
  • leading to increased amount of pain experience
  • patient may experience moderate to severe levels of pain
  • the tendon may undergo degeneration and muscles may shrink from underuse leading to further weakness and pain
  • etc

At this stage the advanced Golfer's Elbow is harder to treat

early diagnosis and hand therapy management = quick healing results

Early accurate diagnosis and understanding of your golfer's elbow will cause your condition to be quickly treated and resolved.

Yes, we understand that there is a lot of responsibilities and deadlines, and sometimes patients just can't come in any earlier, but be assured that no matter you come to us at early stage of golfer's elbow or advanced stage, our senior physiotherapists and hand therapists will be more than able to:

  • diagnose accurately
  • provide pain relief
  • accelerate soft tissue healing
  • improve elbow range of motion
  • get you back earlier to life, sports and activities you love

Patients usually report that the inner part of their elbow is

  • sore/tender to the touch
  • painful when using their hand to carry/move stuff around
  • sensitive and aching in the elbow
  • painful when elbow is straightened and the wrist is extended

In severe cases of golfer's elbow, patients may have difficulties wearing bra/undergarmets/clothing, carrying briefcase or wringing cloth etc.

golfer's elbow hand physiotherapy

Early/Acute Phase

During the early phase of golfer's elbow, there is very fresh and sharp pain and inflammation, so hand physiotherapy will focus on:

Post-acute Hand Therapy

  • continue ultrasound therapy to accelerate soft tissue (tendon) healing
  • friction massage to restart healing process (especially for chronic/long term golfer's elbow)
  • range of motion exercises
  • resisted/strengthening exercises
  • deep tissue massage to decrease tightness of over-compensating muscles