What is Golfer's Elbow?
There are a lot of common terms used to describe different medical conditions, but few are as widely known as “golfer's elbow”. But what is it really? Often, this term is used loosely to describe any pain that occurs on the inside of the elbow.
The greatest misconception about golfer's elbow is that you have to play golf to develop the injury, when in reality only a small percentage of those suffering from these ailments actually get it from playing golf.
Lets Talk Anatomy First.
The humerus (long bone of the upper arm) flares out as it forms the elbow. There is a prominence on the medial (inside) and the lateral (outside) called the epicondyle. Like most bony prominences, these serve as an attachment point for tendons and ligaments. Ligaments attach bones to bones, and muscles attach muscles to bone. When ligaments are injured the symptoms are usually looseness and pain, when tendons are injured the most common symptoms are pain and weakness.
On the palm side of the forearm live all the muscles that control the bending of the wrist and fingers; near the elbow they form tendons that attach to the medial epicondyle. Thinking about how strong these tendons are and how much they are used, it’s hard to believe that the epicondyle is about the size of a quarter or even smaller. The tendons all seem to blend into one common tendon which is often referred to as the common flexor tendon, or the flexor wad.
On the back of the forearm, live all the muscles that control the straightening of the wrist and fingers and cocking the wrist. Similarly, these muscles all form tendons that attach to the medial epicondyle as well as the lateral epicondyle. These tendons all blend so well, that they look like one common tendon, which is referred to as the common extensor tendon, or the extensor wad.
Golfer's elbow is the commonplace term used to describe the medical condition Medial Epicondylitis.
- Medial refers to the inside of the long bone of the upper arm (humerus).
- The Epicondyle is the bump (or bony prominence) that can usually be felt pretty easily.
- The ‘itis’ part is the greatest misnomer. The suffix ‘itis’ is used to describe inflammation, or something that is inflamed.
- If we consider it all together: inflammation of the bony prominence on the inside of the elbow.
What Causes Golfers Elbow?
Likewise, any activity that involves repetitive flexing of the wrist or bending of the fingers can lead to golfer’s elbow. As the name implies it is commonly seen in golfers but the majority of people suffering with golfer’s elbow didn’t get it playing golf.
How Do You Treat Golfer's Elbow and Is There A Cure?
Consult A Doctor
In most scenarios golfer's elbow is not dangerous, and doing nothing is always an option. Still, there are many cases of very serious pain from the injury where doing nothing is unhelpful. A consultation with a medical expert will help start the path towards relief, and will also confirm the correct diagnosis of the injury.
For golfer's elbow, the greatest treatment of all is usually time. Given enough time, the pain from the injury usually resolves. In fact, most treatments are really just an effort to decrease pain and provide symptomatic relief while time passes.
The wide range of treatments for tennis elbow include: stretches, activity modifications, medications, supports/braces, physical therapy, injections, and for a very small percentage of people, some sort of surgery is needed to find complete resolution.
Flexxline's solution for golfer's elbow lies in The Flexxline Elbow Support. The Flexxline Elbow Support brace applies pressure comfortably on these painful areas, which not only provides support for the surrounding tendons and muscles, but also restricts pain signals from the inflamed tendon(s).
Made of unique materials, and unbelievably comfortable, The Flexxline Elbow Support will get you back on the course in no time!