Golfer’s elbow, also known as medial epicondylitis, is a condition where the pain is felt in the inner elbow and runs through the wrist. Its other names include baseball elbow, suitcase elbow, and freehand tennis elbow.
This injury happens when the tendons that bend the wrist toward the palms are damaged.
Are you experiencing golfer’s elbow?
In this article, learn more about it as we discuss its common causes, symptoms, and risk factors. We will also be talking about the available treatments and a kinesiology taping protocol that you can try at home to alleviate the discomfort brought about by this injury.
Table of Contents
- What are the symptoms of golfer’s elbow?
- What are the causes of golfer’s elbow?
- Who is prone to golfer’s elbow?
- How is golfer’s elbow diagnosed?
- What is the best treatment for golfer's elbow?
- How do you apply kinesiology tape to relieve golfer’s elbow?
- Tape Geeks: The best skin-friendly kinesiology tape for golfer’s elbow!
- How long does it take for golfer's elbow to heal?
- What happens if golfer's elbow goes untreated?
- What’s the difference between a golfer’s elbow and a tennis elbow?
- How do you prevent golfer’s elbow from developing in the future?
What are the symptoms of golfer’s elbow?
If you experience some or all of these symptoms, you have golfer’s elbow:
- A feeling of stiffness in the elbow
- Medial elbow pain or pain in the inner elbow
- Losing strength in the hands and wrists
- Being unable to grip objects securely
- Tingling and numbness in one or more fingers
What are the causes of golfer’s elbow?
Golfer's elbow may be caused by overuse, repetitive activity, gripping objects too tightly for long periods, or using too much force when bending the wrist towards the palm.
Movements that include twisting, gripping and rotating can cause small tears in the tendon. This may then eventually develop into golfer’s elbow.
Who is prone to golfer’s elbow?
People who are prone to golfer’s elbow include:
- Men and women between the ages of 45 to 64
- People who smoke
- If a person who is overweight
The people who play the following sports and activities are prone to it, as well:
- Weight training
- Racket sports
- Working on a computer
- Chopping wood
- Lugging a heavy suitcase
How is golfer’s elbow diagnosed?
Your doctor or therapist may conduct a physical exam to evaluate the condition. Golfer’s elbow may also be diagnosed through:
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
- CT scan
- Bone scan
What is the best treatment for golfer's elbow?
- Ice. Apply ice on the area for 15 to 20 minutes a few times a day. But, don’t put the ice directly on your skin. Put a piece of cloth or towel in between to avoid damaging your skin.
- Rest. Rest the elbow and avoid doing daily activities that can aggravate the injury.
- Kinesiology tape. Applying kinesiology tape promotes blood flow and circulation in the area. It will also help relieve pressure, relax the muscles, and reduce inflammation and discomfort. Additionally, it’ll provide support without limiting your range of motion.
- Brace. Wearing a brace will help support the area and limit the elbow’s movement.
- NSAID. When consulting your doctor, he or she might prescribe oral NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) like ibuprofen or naproxen to help reduce pain.
- Steroid injection. Your doctor may administer a corticosteroid injection to help with the pain and swelling.
- Physical therapy. Should you undergo physical therapy, your therapist may guide you through elbow exercises to build strength and stretching exercises, as well.
How do you apply kinesiology tape to relieve golfer’s elbow?
Before your application, here are some tips on how to prepare beforehand. And, since you’ll be applying different kinesiology tape tensions, learn more about it here.
Here is a kinesiology taping protocol that may help you relieve discomfort from golfers elbow:
*You may need a partner in applying this kinesiology taping protocol.
- Position the arm at a 90-degree angle and locate the affected area. It is usually found at the bony bump in the inner elbow.
- Prepare two half strips and a full strip of kinesiology tape. Make sure to round the edges.
- Take one halfstrip of kinesiology tape. Give the tape 80% tension and apply it right over the affected area. Position it vertically, just along the arm. Make sure that the ends of the tape have 0% tension.
- Next, take the second halfstrip and give it 80% tension. Apply the tape over the first strip and in the opposite direction. It should form a cross. Make sure that there is 0% tension on the ends.
- Then, get the third full strip and anchor it above the first strip. Give the tape 20% tension and lay it down and around the corner of the elbow. Make sure the end has 0% tension.
- Rub in the tape to activate the adhesive.
Tape Geeks: The best skin-friendly kinesiology tape for golfer’s elbow!
When you’re using kinesiology tape to relieve discomfort from golfer’s elbow, it’s essential to consider the quality of the kin tape that you’ll be using for the sake of your skin!
Taping shouldn’t just be about muscle and joint support. It should also be protecting your skin from unwanted rashes and allergies that may be brought about by low-quality adhesives.
This is precisely what Tape Geeks is all about!
Enjoy a great stick without making your skin sick with Tape Geeks kinesiology tape! TG tapes are hypoallergenic, zinc-free, and latex-free. What’s more, they’re manufactured in an ISO-certified and dermatologist-approved factory in South Korea which are known for their consistent and reliable adhesives.
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How long does it take for golfer's elbow to heal?
It may take three to six months for the golfer’s elbow to heal with conservative treatment. If the condition persists, you may need to undergo surgery.
We highly recommend consulting with a health care provider to get your condition assessed by a professional and get the best possible course of action for treatment.
What happens if golfer's elbow goes untreated?
If you ignore golfer’s elbow and leave it untreated, the pain and discomfort you feel may extend to your neck and your fingers. People may also experience swelling, tingling in the fingers and forearms for more severe cases.
What’s the difference between a golfer’s elbow and a tennis elbow?
When you look at the scientific name for each type of elbow pain, it’ll be easy enough to decode their key difference.
Golfer’s elbow is medial epicondylitis while tennis elbow is lateral epicondylitis. Using the word medial means inner. Lateral, on the other hand, means outer.
So, in layman’s terms, a golfer’s elbow is pain and inflammation in the inner elbow, while tennis elbow is pain and inflammation in the lateral elbow.
How do you prevent golfer’s elbow from developing in the future?
To prevent golfer’s elbow, you can do simple exercises that focus on strengthening your arms, wrists, and hands. By doing exercises that build your forearm muscles, you'll reduce your risk of injury in the future.
We highly recommend that you consult with your physical therapist so that he or she may recommend a specific exercise routine to help with the condition.
This article has been a comprehensive overview of golfer’s elbow and its signs, symptoms, risk factors, treatment options. We hope you have found this information helpful in understanding the condition better.
If you're looking for more information on other different aches and pains, we have a whole blog devoted to them!
And as always, if you are experiencing any discomfort or pain, be sure to consult with your doctor.
Thanks for reading!