What is Golfer's Elbow?
If you love to stay healthy and fit you probably have heard of this common sports injury – golfer's elbow. Golfer's elbow is a tendon irritation on the inside of your arm. It is usually worst with golfing, picking up objects, opening doors, or even writing with a pencil or pen.
The correct medical term for golfer's elbow is medial epicondylitis. The medial epicondyle is a bony process on the inside of your elbow. Several elbow muscles attach on this bony protuberance and can produce pain when they are overworked or irritated.
Here is a quick image where you can see where the pain is usually present:
This is a picture of a right elbow. On your right side you will see the medial epicondyle and the muscles that attached to it.
But What Causes Golfer's Elbow?
The cause of gofler's elbow is multifactoral. Even though the name suggests it is a sports injury to golfers, you don't necessarily have to play golf to have it. For instance, mechanics and other business professionals commonly get this injury because they are repeatedly using their arms and hands. And… Overtime they eventually wear the tendon down or it gets inflamed.
But Why Golfers?
Golfers get this injury when following through on their back stroke. In the case of a right handed golfer, they will have an increase in pain usually on the right forearm.
The cause is usually three things:
Limited Upper Back Mobility
The name of the game in golf is rotation. The majority of your rotation stems through your upper back. When your upper back or thoracic spine is limited, you'll compensate to get the arm around. In this case, it usually involves increased torque to the elbow.
Hips Aren't Turning Enough
Another common reason why golfer's get this common sports injury is because their hips are stiff. Just like the upper back, your hips need to be able to rotate and turn. If they are limited to any degree, the body will compensate and produce more torque at the elbow.
Your Neck Is Stiff
Last but not least, when our necks get stiff we can only turn so far. This is because when we swing the club it requires a certain degree of neck motion. When the neck is stiff, it will appear that your hips and upper back are stiff but in reality it's your neck. This means your neck is causing your elbow problem as a compensation. Crazy, right?
By the way, if you're suffering from neck pain be sure to check out all the different treatments we offer and what conditions we treat by clicking here.
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What Is the Best Treatment For This Common Sports Injury?
There are many different forms of treatment for this injury. However, we have found over the years that this injury comes back again and again if you don't address the cause of your injury and not just the symptoms.
Sure we'll work on your elbow where it is hurting to get it feeling better, but we'll also need to discern why the injury occurred. To see what a sport physical therapist can do for you be sure to check out this link.
At Back in Motion Physical Therapy & Performance, we'll not only fix your golfer's elbow but will make sure you never have to deal with it again. To schedule an appointment with one of your leading physical therapists all you need to do is click here.
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About Author: Dr. Scott Gray
Dr. Scott Gray is an internationally recognized and expert physical therapist specializing in sport, athletic, and back and neck injuries. He is the inventor of a revolutionary form of treatment called the GRAY METHOD. This type of treatment unlike others, addresses the CAUSE rather than just your SYMPTOMS with a full body approach. Contact our skilled therapists at Back In Motion Physical Therapy & Performance to get started on the road to pain relief!