What A Pain In The……Elbow!
June 14, 2022
Golfing can be a fun leisure activity unless it causes you pain. If you experience pain you may be experiencing a condition referred to as medial epicondylitis or golfer’s elbow. This often presents as pain from the inside or medial portion of your elbow to your wrist and is caused by excessive or repetitive force to bend your wrist toward your palm. This force and motion cause tiny tears and inflammation in the tendons of your forearm. Other activities that can cause similar diagnosis include carrying a heavy suitcase, chopping wood, operating a chain saw or using hand tools in a repetitive manner. Common symptoms include pain along the inside of your elbow or forearm that can worsen with certain directions, stiffness, weakness of your elbow, wrist or fingers and in some cases numbness and tingling.
If golf isn’t quite for you tennis is another activity you may enjoy. Similar to golfer’s elbow too much tennis can cause lateral epicondylitis or tennis elbow as it is commonly referred to. Instead of pain along the inside or medial portion of your forearm you experience pain on the outside or lateral portion of your elbow and forearm. Frequent bending or straightening of your arm while keeping your wrist straight can cause rubbing of your muscle on bony aspects of your elbow causing tears and inflammation in the muscle. Common causes of tennis elbow include weak shoulder and wrist muscles, improper backhand stroke, painting with a brush or roller, operating a chain saw, frequent use of hand tools or professions that require prolonged repetitive movements like a butcher, painter or plumber for example. Symptoms often associated with tennis elbow include achiness, burning or pain along the outside of your forearm that with time or repetitive motions gets worse. Another symptom can include weak grip.
Both conditions are often diagnosed by your doctor through a physical examination however sometimes an X-ray or MRI may be required. Treatment can include physical therapy, rest, ice, gentle strengthening and stretching exercises or anti-inflammatory medications. Other alternatives can also include bracing, steroid injections and rarely surgery. Ways to prevent injury include strengthening your forearm muscles, proper warm up and cool down, fixing your form, using the correct equipment, knowing when rest is required to allow for recovery and using proper mechanics when lifting objects or weights. It is important to keep your hands, wrists and elbows strong and flexible to prevent potential injury.