Treating Golfer’s Elbow without Surgery

Golfer’s elbow, known within the medical community as medial epicondylitis, is pain or tenderness on the inside of one’s lower arm, situated near the elbow. Although it’s commonly associated with golf, this injury can occur due to overexertion and poor form in a range of sports, including tennis and baseball.


If you want to avoid surgery, golfer’s elbow physio in Perth can help you heal more naturally, without the use of invasive techniques. Unlike a number of other painful conditions, golfer’s elbow is not generally caused by inflammation, but instead, develops due to overuse. Once symptoms progress, however, inflammation increases, leading to discomfort and pain.


How Does Golfer’s Elbow Develop?


As mentioned, golfer’s elbow is common within the sport of golf, however, you most certainly do not need to play golf in order to suffer from this condition. Any activity that involves repetitive wrist movement against resistance, as well as activities that require repetitive gripping, can lead to this painful condition.


Although sports are a common cause, including golf, tennis, badminton, weight lifting, and water skiing, golfer’s elbow can also develop from hammering, bricklaying, sewing, painting, chopping wood, and other related activities. If you have a history of elbow, wrist, neck, or shoulder injuries, you will suffer from an increased likelihood of developing this condition.


If and when this condition develops — you’ll know that something isn’t quite right. Although golfer’s elbow can develop suddenly, symptoms tend to gradually develop over time. At first, you may experience a slight ache following a selective activity, which is often first felt first thing in the morning.


A dull ache may progress into localised pain that increases when pressure is exerted just below the elbow. In some cases, the experienced pain may radiate into the forearm, however, each individual case is unique. In order to better understand what you’re suffering from, a thorough examination from a physiotherapist is recommended.


How Physiotherapy Can Assist Symptoms of Golfer’s Elbow


When aiming to treat golfer’s elbow, physiotherapy provides a range of potential interventions, including wrist flexor stretches and strengthening, massage, heat and ice, and more. Golfer’s elbow physio in Perth is the perfect opportunity to reduce pain levels and increase quality of life.


Within one key study, published in the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy, twenty patients suffering from chronic medical epicondylitis were examined. Of these patients, pathology was in the dominant arm of 18, recurrent within 10, and 14 cases were due to golf.


Physiotherapy visits ranged from 1-22, with an average of 12 sessions and a duration of 6.1 weeks. In addition to these sessions, patients participated in a home exercise program. What they found, was that eccentric wrist flexor exercises performed daily — more specifically, three sets of 15 repetitions, significantly improved symptoms.


More importantly, after six weeks, this physio-focused treatment was found to be an effective intervention in the majority of patients who did not improve after undergoing previous, unrelated treatments. Unlike isolated eccentric training, treatments such as corticosteroid injections can lead to significant side effects.


As mentioned, golfer’s elbow tends to develop due to degenerative tissue, but significant inflammation may also follow. Within one key case study, published in the British Journal of Medicine and Medical Research, researchers were interested in whether or not treatment should be targeted towards degeneration management or inflammation.


The patient was suffering from medial epicondylitis and tendinitis, yet recovered from physical therapy that focused on both degenerative and inflammatory elements. Ultrasound, electrical stimulation, soft tissue manipulation, and therapeutic exercise were all utilised.


After just 11 treatments, strength increased from 4/5 to 5/5 and amazingly, pain decreased from 8/10 to 0/10 on the Verbal Numerical Rating Scale. The patient was able to return to all daily activities without any pain or restrictions. This just goes to show how specialised, non-invasive, and effective physiotherapy truly is.


If you have been experiencing a nagging, sharp, or dull pain, golfer’s elbow physio in Perth can help you better assess your needs. By pinpointing the cause of your symptoms, a professional physiotherapist will help you develop the most beneficial treatment plan, so that you can get back to normal functioning in no time.


Book your physiotherapy consultation today, call our friendly team on 94448729