One of the most common conditions that can occur whilst playing golf is Golfer’s elbow, or medial epicondyalgia. The muscles that flex your wrist and fingers attach on the medial epicondyle, the bony lump on the inside of you elbow. It is a wear-and-tear type condition affecting the flexor muscle/tendon.
Golfer’s elbow is opposite to what happens in Tennis Elbow, which affects the muscles/tendons that extend the wrist and fingers. Symptoms can include pain on the inside of your elbow radiating into the flexor muscle mass in you forearm, pain on gripping and with elbow/wrist movements and weakness. It is caused by repetitive elbow and wrist movements and gripping.
• Ensure you warm up appropriately prior to playing.
• Seek help from an expert and re-assessing your swing technique and modifying movement patterns can help to de-load some of the muscles and strain on the tendinous insertion.
• Use the right equipment, lighter clubs or larger grips may be beneficial in reducing muscle effort.
• Rest in between sessions and return to golf and other activities in a graduated fashion to reduce flare-ups.
• Once the acute symptoms have settled, stretching before playing can help prepare your arm for the game.
A tailor made exercise program will be designed for you by one of our hand therapists.
Symptoms of medial epicondyalgia are different for each person and differing movements can be aggravating for some and not others. Your therapist will be able to assess you and determine what treatment will be the most effective to help ensure your safe return to golf.
It may include heat and massage to the flexor muscles, using anti-inflammatory cream, graded strengthening exercises, stretching, nerve gliding exercises and use of splints such as a counterforce brace.
If you have any questions about avoiding injury associated with playing golf, or any conditions related to the hands, wrists or elbow, please feel free to get in touch. We’d be more than happy to help!