Can Occupational Therapists Help Golfers Elbow?
Everything you need to know about Golfer’s Elbow
Do you experience pain in your elbow, wrist or the inside of your arm? Does this make it difficult to grip something in your hand? Golfer’s elbow can impact your life and stop you from enjoying your favourite activities, even if you don’t play golf! It’s commonly caused by repetitive tasks that put continual strain on your wrist and forearm.
In this article, we examine the symptoms and common causes of golfer’s elbow. We also provide recommendations on how manual therapy, such as occupational therapists, may help treat this condition. If you’re looking soft tissue therapy to help with golfer’s elbow pain, why not contact My Back Relief Clinic today and schedule your consultation.
Phone 02 9560 0184
What is Golfer’s Elbow?
Golfer’s elbow, or medial epicondylitis, is a condition marked by inflammation of a tendon. Over time, it can even lead to tears. We don’t mean the “watery” ones, but tears in the tissue of the tendon. The pain is usually localised in the wrist however may extend into the forearm. In some cases, the pain may get progressively worse over time. In other cases, people may experience a sudden onset of pain and symptoms.
Common Symptoms of Golfer’s Elbow
Common symptoms of golfer’s elbow include:
- Difficulty in flexing the wrist towards the forearm
- A slight “circuit of pain” that goes from the elbow through the inside of your arm and to the fingers
- Difficulty gripping and holding onto objects
- General feeling of weakness in the wrist
- Difficulty and slight pain when shaking hands
What Causes Golfer’s Elbow
Golfer’s elbow is a type of tendinitis: a tendon disorder that may cause pain, swelling and movement difficulties. Athletes tend to be at higher risk of developing golfer’s elbow than less athletic people. Sports such as golf, tennis, rowing, baseball and weight lifting may contribute to medial epicondylitis.
Even if you’re not very sporty, you may still be susceptible to this condition. You see, any activity that involves repeated twisting or bending of the wrist may strain your tendons.
Higher risk occupations include:
- Construction workers
- Manual laborer
- Regular computer users
- Professional athletes
All of these occupations generally involve repetitive movements of the elbow, wrist and arm. Over time this may cause scar tissue to form. Pain may follow, making it harder for you to enjoy your daily activities.
But all is not lost! There are several things you can do to help relieve the symptoms of golfer’s elbow.
What is the Best Treatment for Golfer’s Elbow?
Now that we’ve covered the symptoms and causes, what can be done to help alleviate this condition?
Consider this general rule of thumb: whenever you experience lingering, unresolved pain, you should seek professional health advice to determine the cause.
If the cause of your pain can be identified, stopping the activity associated with the pain may reduce the symptoms.
Treatment options may include:
- Ice therapy – to sooth inflammation and reduce pain
- Specific stretching and strengthening exercises
- Golfer’s elbow stretches
- Wearing a golfer’s elbow brace
- Manual therapies, such as: occupational therapy, chiropractic, active release, soft tissue therapy and massage.
How Occupational Therapists May Help Golfer’s Elbow
We often hear patients asking ‘can a chiropractor or occupational therapist help elbow pain?’ The answer is yes, in some cases. We will examine the alignment of your elbow and wrist. Once assessed, we may recommend treatment. Depending on your case, specific therapy or soft tissue work may form part of your treatment program.
Generally speaking, for treatment to work, the following factors needs to be addressed:
- Break up any fibrous tissue around your elbow
- Increase joint range of motion and muscle flexibility
- Reduce and sooth inflammation and pain
Further examination of your spine, posture and neck may be needed. You see, every part of your body is connected. If we find a misalignment in one place, that misalignment may contribute to an imbalance elsewhere in your body.
Reduce Elbow Pain
Don’t let elbow pain stop you from doing what you enjoy. Here at My Back Relief Clinic, we’ll do our best to address your problem and provide treatment recommendations. Our goal is to help you by reducing your pain and inflammation as quickly as possible. You may start to feel relief in a few visits.
Chiropractor and Occupational Therapist in Dulwich Hill – Inner West Sydney
If you’re looking for advice from an experienced team of practitioners, feel free to contact our clinic today.
My Back Relief Clinic
390 New Canterbury Rd, Dulwich Hill NSW 2203