If you're an avid golfer and have recently noticed that the inside of your forearm hurts whenever you swing your club, you may be suffering from golfer's elbow. Golfer's elbow happens when a tendon in your forearm becomes damaged and inflamed because of overuse, and it can lead to you being unable to golf due to the severe pain it causes. To learn more about this condition and what you should do if you think you have golfer's elbow, read on.
What Is Golfer's Elbow?
There's a tendon in your forearm called the medial epicondyle that runs from the inside of your elbow to your wrist. You use this tendon whenever you raise your palm up or when you grip an object like a golf club, so it's under stress whenever you're taking a golf swing. When the medial epicondyle is subjected to too much stress, small tears start to form in it, and it becomes inflamed and painful.
What Should You Do If You Think You Have Golfer's Elbow?
If you think that you have golfer's elbow, you should schedule an appointment with a sports therapy clinic in your area to have your pain diagnosed. You'll typically be asked to lay your arm on an exam table and try to raise your palm upwards while someone applies gentle downward pressure to it. If this causes pain, it's a sign that you have golfer's elbow. Medical imaging such as an MRI is usually not required for a certain diagnosis.
Once it has been diagnosed, a sports therapy clinic can help you get back to golfing quicker by treating your golfer's elbow. The best form of treatment is resting your elbow and bracing your wrist to stabilize it. This gives the medial epicondyle a chance to heal on its own. Continuing to golf or lift heavy objects while you have golfer's elbow will make the damage worse, and it can eventually lead to permanent scarring that causes chronic pain.
After your tendon has healed, a sports therapy clinic can help show you how to prevent golfer's elbow from coming back in the future. You'll be shown exercises that will strengthen your forearm muscles, which will help take stress off of the tendon when you're golfing. You may also be taught to change the way you grip the golf club in order to reduce the amount of stress that the medial epicondyle is under when you swing.
Contact a local sports therapy clinic to learn more.