You have Medial Epicondylitis A.K.A Golfers elbow – What is it? How can I help you, and more importantly, how can you help yourself? Let me reveal all!
The sciency bit..
Golfers elbow is inflammation of the medial epicondyle, usually caused by inflammation and tension along the tendon of the wrist flexors and other surrounding muscles. As they tighten, normally due to weakness and/or repetitive strain, it starts to create inflammation, and a very unhappy epicondyle!
In acute phases
It is important that you bring down any inflammation within and around the tendon.
Avoiding exercise that aggravates the joint at this stage is crucial
An ice cube on the inflamed and painful area helps, every 4 hours for 10 minutes, with hot baths to sooth the muscles.
Kinesiology tape or a support around the forearm can help take the muscle pressure off of the joint
Temporarily being put on an anti-inflammatory, as discussed with your GP, would help to bring down the inflammation and make you more comfortable.
Sports massage and other manual therapies are important in aiding relief to the tendon and joint, reducing inflammation and guiding the healing process.
Long term treatment plan
I often find there to be shoulder and neck related issues with clients with golfers elbow, through a weakness in that chain, and often you find that a routine strength and stretching program, in time, really helps with recovery. There are some cases that need injections, surgery or other more extreme methods, but this does not come without trying the leg work first.
Here are some great examples of exercises that you would be doing (note everybody is different and you may require slightly different exercises) to get back on the road to recovery.
Wrist Flexors and extensors stretch – 3 x 30S Daily
Wrist flexor and extensor strength 3 x 12 Daily
Supination and pronation using a heavy ended object 3 x 12 daily
Radial and ulnar deviation 3 x 12
Depending on the severity of the stress caused to the tendon and joint with golfers elbow very much determines how long it takes to heal, the common amount of time is 3-6 months and can afterwards, sometimes flare up for short periods of time if the rehabilitation was not sufficient, or, there is long term damage to the tendon.
If you know of a friend, golfing partner or family member that you think needs help with golfers elbow, send them our way for a thorough consultation, assessment, treatment and more importantly, personalised program.
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