Golf can simultaneously be one of the most fun and yet most infuriating sports to partake in. The sport of golf requires tremendous skill, mindfulness and most importantly efficiency of movement. Inefficiency, instability, overuse or just generally being over aggressive are all factors which can lead to pain from a golf swing.
Golfer’s elbow, thrower’s elbow, and medial epicondylitis are all differing terms for the same condition. With repetitive stress to the inside of the elbow from flexion of the wrist, the tendinous attachments become inflamed, irritated and painful. Picture an anchor in the sand being pulled on repetitively and over time pulling out of the sand or becoming unstable.
Today we are going to give you 5 viable options to treat this condition and get you back on the course, field or just back to life!
- Calm down This condition can simply occur from gripping too hard. Loosening your grip to a more comfortable level can take extreme loads off of the epicondyle and may correct the problem at its source. I shouldn’t be able to pull the club from your hand, but Sylvester Stallone’s grip from Cliffhanger isn’t necessary.
- Try a golfers elbow brace— if rest isn’t an option for you, you can easily find a medial epicondylitis brace at any sporting goods store or online. It should be worn distally to the epicondyle (just below the little bump on the inside of your arm). This type of brace take stress off of the attachment site of the tendon and allows for healing to occur.
- See your chiropractor! Golf is a sport, small changes in body alignment and efficiency can create large amounts of compensation which begets inflammation. Postural deficiencies such as head forward posture can create upper crossed issues and lead to serious compromise with the kinetic chain of the arm. Let’s get this problem fixed at the root!
- Ice massage! I’m typically more a fan of moist heat for allowing the body to heal. However, with epicondylitis, the inflammation can be so severe that ice massage can help tremendously. Fill a paper cup with water and freeze it. Once frozen, peel off the top two inches or so of the paper and use the frozen water to massage the painful area. Massage in a circular matter for about 4 mins. You should note initial cold followed but burning and ending in numbness. Once the area is numb, you are done. Do this nightly until improved.
- Try Kinesiotape. While not necessarily magical. Kinesiotaping can increase circulation, stabilize the injured are and allow for healing to occur. You can also tape the injured area while playing as well to prevent further injury to the area if rest is not an option. See attached video on how to tape for golfers elbow.
There are a multitude of options to help with this condition. Start with these 5 and go from there. Please seek the advice of a qualified golf pro to ensure that you correct your swing and don’t rely on techniques to take the pain away repetitively over time. Breath, calm down and enjoy your time on the links pain free… You deserve it
Watch “How to Treat Golfer’s Elbow”
Dr. Jordan Hart Kaplan DC