Golfer’s elbow is a common injury in those who play racquet or golf sports. As it is an elbow injury, it can affect the performance of daily activities. Therefore, correct diagnosis and treatment are important.
What is a golfer’s elbow?
It is known as “golfer’s elbow” to the pathology of the elbow caused by an inflammation of the tendons inside it.
Although the technical name of the lesion is epitrocleitis or medial epicondylitis, it receives this name, since it is common for it to develop in people who practice golf regularly.
Causes of golfer’s elbow
The causes of the golfer’s elbow are very diverse; however, the common factor is that it is usually caused by excessive or repeated stress on the elbow tendons. This tension causes inflammation in the tendons, which gives rise to the well-known golfer’s elbow.
In many cases, the causes are related to repetitive movements, for that reason, its development is common during the practice of racquet sports, as well as shot put. In short, any activity that involves repetitive movement for the elbow joint.
Symptoms of golfer’s elbow
A golfer’s elbow is a painful injury that can affect daily activities. The most common symptoms are characterized by the development of sharp and stabbing pain in the area, which in many cases appears accompanied by tenderness and elbow stiffness.
Additionally, some patients experience numbness or tingling in the elbow joint area, which can radiate throughout the arm and hand.
How is the golfer’s elbow diagnosed?
Before the appearance of unusual symptoms in the elbow, the patient should see a trusted doctor or orthopaedic surgeon. First, a physical examination of the area will be carried out, in which the points where the patient experiences pain will be studied, as well as the range of mobility, will be observed. In those cases, in which there is suspicion of nerve impingement, various tests will be carried out to determine the response of the nerves to different stimuli.
In most cases, it will be necessary to perform complementary imaging tests to obtain more information about the injury. Among them, the most common are X-rays, ultrasounds, as well as MRIs of the elbow.
Golfer’s elbow treatments
Once a complete diagnosis has been made, the most appropriate treatment will be planned in each case, taking into account the characteristics and symptoms of the patient.
First of all, it will be advisable to remain at rest during the first days, avoiding sports activities and repetitive movements for the elbow joint. In this way, inflammation will be reduced and the patient will feel pain relief.
In addition, it may be accompanied by a prescribed anti-inflammatory treatment and the application of cold to the affected area. In some cases, the elbow joint will be immobilized with a bandage or an elbow, in order to avoid sudden movements and forced positions.
Physiotherapy treatment is highly recommended, as it will help to regain mobility and strengthen the muscles, which will prevent future injuries. In the most serious cases, the specialist traumatologist will be able to evaluate a possible surgery.
Golfer’s elbow prevention
Sometimes it is difficult to prevent the golfer’s elbow, since, as explained, it is due to repetitive movements. However, there are certain guidelines that could help minimize the chances of it developing.
In the first place, as already mentioned, avoid overexertion, as well as sudden and forced movements. In addition, it is important to stretch before starting any sports activity. This will prepare and warm the joint. In the case of sports activity, it is important to use suitable equipment that is in good condition. Finally, it is advisable to practice exercises to strengthen the muscles in the area, such as regular weight routines or functional training.