Golfer’s Elbow and Physical Therapy

Physical therapy plays a crucial role in managing golfer’s elbow, also known as medial epicondylitis. This condition causes pain and tenderness on the inside of the elbow, affecting the muscles responsible for flexing the wrist and fingers.

How physical therapy assists in treating and preventing golfer’s elbow:

  1. Pain Management and Healing:
    • Rest: Initially, rest from activities that exacerbate the condition allows the inflamed tendon to heal.
    • Ice and Heat: Physical therapists may recommend ice or heat therapy to reduce pain and inflammation.
  2. Strengthening and Stretching Exercises:
    • Eccentric Exercises: These specialized exercises focus on strengthening the affected muscles and tendons. Eccentric movements involve lengthening the muscle while under tension.
    • Wrist and Forearm Exercises: Specific exercises target the wrist flexors and extensors to improve muscle balance and function.
  3. Soft Tissue Techniques:
    • Massage and Soft Tissue Mobilization: Physical therapists use hands-on techniques to release tension in the forearm muscles and improve blood flow.
    • Myofascial Release: This technique addresses tight fascia and trigger points.
  4. Range of Motion and Mobility:
    • Joint Mobilization: Physical therapists perform gentle joint mobilizations to enhance elbow and wrist mobility.
    • Stretching: Controlled stretching helps maintain flexibility and prevent stiffness.
  5. Functional Training:
    • Sport-Specific Movements: Physical therapists simulate golf swings and other relevant movements to assess and improve function.
    • Proprioceptive Training: Enhancing proprioception (awareness of body position) helps prevent re-injury.
  6. Gradual Return to Activity:
    • As symptoms improve, physical therapists guide patients in gradually resuming golf-related activities.
    • Proper warm-up and cool-down routines are emphasized.

Remember that early intervention and consistent adherence to exercises are essential for optimal recovery and prevention.