Golfer's Elbow Treatment Nashville
Golfer’s elbow is an injury to the muscles that flex your wrist and fingers. The site of injury is typically the medial epicondyle, a bony bump on the inside of the elbow where these muscles attach.
What are Golfer’s Elbow Symptoms?
Typically the golfer’s elbow sufferer will experience pain when performing gripping tasks or resisted wrist/finger flexion. Pain can also be present when the muscles are stretched. There will be tenderness directly over the bony epicondyle, and there may be trigger points in the wrist flexor muscles.
Some sufferers will also have neck stiffness and tenderness, as well as signs of median nerve irritation. Most elbow movements will be pain-free. Gripping is painful.
What Causes Golfer’s Elbow?
Golfer’s elbow is caused by damaged muscle tissue at the point it anchors to the arm bone at the elbow. It occurs when more force is applied to an area than the normal healthy tissues can handle.
In some cases such as Chronic Golfer’s Elbow, this can occur due to the soft tissues being in poor health, which are easily injured.
Inflammation follows the injury, which leads to swelling and elbow pain.
What Causes Chronic Golfer’s Elbow?
Chronic Golfer’s Elbow is associated with degenerative changes in the muscle tissues located at the medial epicondyle. Although for a long time this was thought to be related to inflammation from overuse, this is now known to be incorrect.
Chronic Golfer’s Elbow is NOT due to INFLAMMATION!
How is Golfer’s Elbow Diagnosed?
Your golfer’s elbow is clinically diagnosed by your doctor. After listening to your injury history and using some confirmatory clinical tests a provisional diagnosis of Golfer’s Elbow can be made.
An ultrasound scan or MRI are the best tests to identify any tendon tears or inflammation. X-rays are of little diagnostic benefit.
Referred Pain Can Mimic Golfer’s Elbow
A significant percentage of golfer’s elbow sufferers may feel pain in the medial elbow, but not actually be experiencing golfer’s elbow. There is a high incidence of medial elbow pain that is referred to your elbow from a cervical spine (neck) injury. The most common neck joint that refers to your medial elbow is C6-C7, which transmit their pain signals along the median nerve.
Your median nerve may also have reduced neural mobility, which can cause symptoms similar to golfer’s elbow.
It is extremely important to have your neck and upper limb neurodynamics assessed by an experienced chiropractor to confirm or exclude any neck dysfunction or neural tension.
Failure to do so, will result in a lack of symptom improvement and the development of chronic golfer’s elbow pain syndrome.
Who Suffers Golfer’s Elbow?
Golfer’s elbow occurs commonly in the community. It is present in golfers. However, it is common is repetitive manual trades where gripping is involved.
It can occur at any age, however, sufferers are generally between the ages of 35 and 50.
Predictably, the side affected is usually associated with handedness, but it can occur in the non-dominant arm. Males and females are affected equally.
Golfer’s Elbow Treatment
- Reduction of elbow pain.
- Facilitation of tissue repair.
- Restoration of normal joint range of motion and function.
- Restoration of normal muscle length, strength and movement patterns.
- Normalization of your upper limb neurodynamics.
- Normalization of cervical joint function.
Treatment at our office can include gentle chiropractic mobilization of your neck and elbow joints, cold laser therapy, kinesiotaping, muscle stretches, neural mobilizations, and strengthening.
In some instances a Golfer’s Elbow Brace (which is a tennis elbow brace worn on the opposite side of the elbow) may be beneficial.
Your doctor will discuss what treatment options are most suitable for you.
Dr. Callie Gant and Dr. Michael Buczynski founded Art of Health Chiropractic with the goal of creating a healthier Nashville. Feel free to call the office at 615-953-7544 with any questions or to schedule your first appointment.