The pain of golfer's elbow is located on the inside of the elbow. The pain may radiate down the inside of the arm toward the hand. The symptoms often occur after repetitive DIY-tasks or when performing household tasks.
The term "golfer's elbow" is misleading, because only a small number of people with golfer's elbow actually play golf.
Description of condition
The forearm flexors are the muscles that allow the wrist and the fingers to flex (bend). They join up on the inside of the elbow, where they attach to the bone via tendons.
In golfer's elbow, the muscle tension of the forearm flexors is increased. This increased muscle tension causes the tendon attachments of these muscles on the inside of the elbow to become irritated, resulting in pain symptoms.
Cause and history
Symptoms often develop gradually. Golfer's elbow can develop from activities that require daily frequent and prolonged tightening of the forearm flexors. For example, when working with tools that must be held tightly throughout the day and when playing golf. Climbers are also at increased risk.
Signs & symptoms
- Stabbing or nagging pain on the inside of the elbow, at the level of the medial epicondyle (this is the hard lump on the inside of the elbow).
- Pain when forcefully making a fist (with extended elbows).
- The pain is provoked by lifting an object from below.
- Pressure on the inside of the elbow may provoke the symptoms.
- Sometimes the pain radiates down the inside of the arm toward the hand.
- The symptoms may also occur at rest.
The symptoms fluctuate. Phases with a lot of symptoms alternate with periods with few symptoms.
There has not been much thorough research into treatment of golfer's elbow. Current insights suggest that eccentric muscle strengthening and stretching exercises of the forearm flexors may lead to recovery. A physiotherapist can assist you in this.
Take a look at the exercise program here specially prepared for these symptoms. See the exercises for golfer's elbow for more information.
You can check your symptoms using the online physiotherapy check or make an appointment with a physiotherapy practice in your locality.
Lohman, A.H.M. (2004). Vorm en beweging. Leerboek van het bewegingsapparaat van de mens. Houten: Bohn Stafleu van Loghum.
Nugteren, K. van & Winkel, D. (2006). Onderzoek en behandeling van peesaandoeningen - tendinose. Houten: Bohn Stafleu van Loghum.
Verhaar, J.A.N. & Linden, A.J. van der (2005). Orthopedie. Houten: Bohn Stafleu van Loghum.