golfer's elbow

How can Massage Therapy Help With Golfer’s Elbow?

Previously, we know tennis elbow as one type of elbow tendinitis, and since this is popularly known especially to those playing racket sports. But did you know, that it has a cousin? Yes, it’s the golfer’s elbow. Just like tennis elbow, even your not playing racket sports or golf, you can still have this. This inflammation on the inner side of the elbow can develop to anyone – especially to those who overuse their wrists and forearm muscles known as repetitive stress or a strain injury.

Although the two conditions are different, they share the same similarities – both are painful.

Let’s further discover what’s a golfer’s elbow and how massage therapy can help it.

What is a Golfer’s Elbow?

Golfer's Elbow Anatomy
Image source: By www.scientificanimations.com, CC BY-SA 4.0

Golfer’s elbow or clinically known as medial epicondylitis is a condition where there is inflammation in the medial epicondyle of the elbow. It causes pain inside your elbow which can spread to your forearm up to your wrists.

Just like tennis elbow, it is not only limited to those playing sports like tennis or golf. Those who repeatedly use their wrist or hand or forearm can also develop this condition.

Golfer’s elbow is not as popular as the tennis elbow but both are types of elbow tendinitis. Tennis elbow causes by the damage of tendons on the outside of the elbow while golfer’s elbow is coming from the inside. Although this is a less common but still it can be painful.

What are the Symptoms?

Symptoms of golfer’s elbow may develop gradually especially when caused by overuse or repetitive use of hand, wrist, or forearm. But, it may rapidly show if brought by injury. If you have a golfer’s elbow, you may feel the following:

  • Pain on your elbow’s inner side which may also extend up to your forearm’s inner side. Feeling the pain especially when you’re flexing your wrist going to the forearm.
  • Stiffness on your elbow
  • Weak hands and wrists especially when gripping
  • It’s painful when shaking hands
  • Experience numbness or a tingling sensation – radiating to either one or more fingers
  • Have difficulty when you’re moving your elbow

Depending on the cause, the pain may either be mild or severe.

What causes a Golfer’s Elbow?

A golfer’s elbow occurs due to the damage in muscles and tendons which controls your wrist and fingers. This damage happens to repetitive and overuse wrists, fingers, and forearms. And below are the activities that may contribute to this condition:

  • Playing racket sports such as tennis especially when you’re using improper technique
  • Playing golf also with improper technique
  • Training errors with inadequate warm-ups and improper duration
  • Lifting some weights with improper technique
  • Throwing sports such javelin throw
  • Repetitive activities such as plumbing, carpentry

You are also at risk of having a golfer’s elbow due to the following factors:

  • Age is 40 or over
  • Activities that may use forearm muscles
  • Overweight
  • Smoking
  • Elbow injuries

How Golfer’s Elbow is diagnosed?

To check for golfer’s elbow, the massage therapist will rest your arm in the table, with your palm side up. He or she will then ask to start raising your hands while bending your wrist against the resistance. If you can feel the pain on the inner side of your elbow – you have medial epicondylitis or a golfer’s elbow.

How Massage Therapy can Help Golfer’s Elbow?

In our previous post, we have discovered that massage therapy is helpful for the patient suffering from a tennis elbow. Even research studies show its effectiveness.

Same with tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow is also painful and can reoccur especially when you overuse our forearm muscles. Among the recommended action to take is to rest your elbow which can mend naturally within 6 months to 2 years. It is also essential to avoid getting reinjury or else healing will take longer.

As we can observe taking just rest alone can be longer. With Cross friction massage, it can help you to recover from a golfer’s elbow much faster than just by resting. By applying it to the tendon, it can help to stimulate the healing process. Massaging the forearm muscles can also improve its function. It also decreases the tension on your inflamed tendons. The scar tissue forming around the tendons can also break down. The massage will also be applied on your upper arm and forearm maximizing the blood circulation.

Massage therapy can simply help in breaking down the tension in the tendons, thus it can help in reducing the pain. Also, it is recommended to apply cold therapy after massage therapy.

Treatment for overused muscles and tendons simply calls for massage therapists.  They are trained to address either a tennis elbow or a golfer’s elbow. They are knowledgeable in evaluating and providing the right care for your condition.

Aside from cross friction massage, massage therapists can use other types of techniques such as deep tissue massage, active release technique, myofascial release, neuromuscular therapy, or acupressure.

Don’t forget about Self-care!

Take in mind that under the treatment, it is a must to avoid getting another injury, or else it can take longer to get back to your normal activities. Once, your elbow is not fully healed, you are still vulnerable and the damaged parts can still break. Self-care is a must-do in the healing process.

To achieve faster and better results in the long run, it also vital to follow the advice of your therapists. Remember that in every treatment, it will always require your commitment and attention.

Also, if your golfer’s elbow is left untreated it can lead to permanent disability which involves chronic pain, losing your grip, and making your elbow with a limited range of motion. The sad part is that you can’t bend your elbow. So, as soon as you feel the symptoms, it is important to get check by a health professional. Also, if all other treatments will fail, the last option is to undergo surgery.

Looking for the Right Massage Therapist in Coquitlam?

The key to the fast recovery of your golfer’s elbow is to find an experienced and registered massage therapist. Their experience will lead to the application of a variety of suitable techniques that can lead to better results in the long term.

At Evergreen Rehab and Wellness, our RMTs offered the best massage therapy in Coquitlam that can help you with your golfer’s elbow. They are highly skilled and have undergone post-graduate courses and learned the right advanced techniques. Taking as much time needed to understand the real cause of pain because we know that each individual has unique needs. Thus, we offer a custom treatment plan and this is what distinguishes us as one of the leading massage clinics in the Greater Vancouver Area. Get to know more about our massage therapists here.

To book for an RMT in Coquitlam, click here.

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