What are the Symptoms of Golfer's Elbow


Golfer's Elbow - Symptoms

Much like tennis elbow, the onset of golfer's elbow pain is normally gradual with tenderness or a dull ache felt in the tendons of your forearm muscles that attach to the inside bump on your elbow (known as the medial epicondyle).

If you have golfer's elbow, you will feel discomfort and pain when performing repetitive movements such as holding, squeezing, twisting with your hands or wrists, or curving your fingers as they hit a computer or piano. Pain can also be experienced when you try to pick something up with your palm down, when you flex your wrist and fingers forwards while extending your arm, or when you rest your forearms on a surface (while typing or grasping for something).

In the beginning, this pain will often go away within 24 hours after an activity. However if not dealt with immediately, your pain and stiffness will get worse over weeks or months, to the point where you may feel soreness even when your arm is still. You can also experience a severe burning pain and atrophied forearm muscles (loss of muscle mass), which results in a weakened grip. If left untreated, you may experience extreme loss of motion and function of your elbow and forearm.

Pain will start on and around the bump on the inside of the elbow (medial epicondyle). As time goes on this pain will start to radiate from the inside of your elbow down your forearm toward your wrist.

golfers elbow typical pain map

The 4 most common symptoms of golfer's' elbow are:

  • You have sharp pain on the inner side of your elbow.
  • You have swelling and tenderness on the inner side of your elbow, especially after doing any activity.
  • You feel weakness in your elbow.
  • You're suffering from pain on the inner part of your elbow with activities like picking up objects with your palm down, flexing your wrist and fingers forward or rest your forearms on a surface.

If you do not seek rest and treatment in the form of warming and cooling temperature therapies for your symptoms and you are suffering from Golfer's Elbow, you may develop a chronic tendon injury due to overuse or even re-injury.

Chronic symptoms can include pain before, after, and during activities that does not go away as well as limited range of motion and inflexibility that will interrupt your daily life. grasping an object or making a fist may cause severe discomfort. Grasping with your fingers or lifting everyday objects can trigger Golfer's Elbow pain. These symptoms may require you to change, or completely stop, movements using your arm or hand.

In severe cases, turning a screwdriver or even holding a coffee cup can cause intense discomfort. It is easy to forget how much you use your hands and arms on a daily basis. When you are suffering from Golfer's Elbow, even the most simple tasks can become quite a challenge!

golfers elbow anatomical diagram

Imagine having to take weeks or even months off work, or missing a whole season of your favorite sport or activity. The burden that an untreated Golfer's Elbow injury can place on your finances, your family, and your quality of life, can be heavy.

Golfer's Elbow pain normally starts with tenderness or a dull ache around the bony bumps on the outside of your elbow. These bumps are also known as your medial epicondyle, and are bumps on your elbow bone. It is here, that the tendon for the muscle in your forearm, attaches to the bone. If left untreated, the pain may gradually start to radiate, from the inside of your elbow, extending down into the inside of your forearm and wrist. Typically both golfer's and tennis elbow start off as acute, or short lived pain that goes away after about 24 hrs.



Golfer's Elbow/Tennis Elbow Pain Scale Acute to Chronic Pain

Pain Level
Description of Pain Felt
0
No pain or discomfort after activity.
1
Slight stiffness or discomfort after exercise or activity that is gone within 24 hours.
2
Some stiffness and discomfort before activity that goes away with warm up. Pain is not felt during activity and discomfort that appears afterwards is gone within 24 hours.
3
Some pain with stiffness and discomfort before an activity that does not change your ability to complete the activity or result in having to modify movements.
4
Pain that is noticed before, during or after activities that results in having to modify movements.
5
More pain is noticed before, during and after activities or exercise that results in having to stop before completing activity.
6
Pain is distracting with rest and results in having to stop many activities.
7
Pain is distracting and continues during complete rest consistently disrupting sleep and increases during activity.

Onset of symptoms, such as soreness, may not appear immediately after an activity. If you begin to notice discomfort 24-72 hours after doing an activity, it could be an indication that tiny tears have started to form in your tendon. When the body experiences sensations of pain or discomfort, it is trying to tell you that something is wrong. By ignoring your body's warning signs, you could be putting yourself at risk of developing a chronic injury.



Why Is It Important To Treat My Symptoms?

Symptoms of Golfer's Elbow are not the same for everyone. You may experience only one symptom or perhaps a combination of symptoms. The severity of these symptoms can differ from person to person. Sometimes, a person suffering from Bi-lateral Golfer's Elbow (that's both elbows at once) will have different symptoms for each elbow. This is because no two injuries are exactly the same.

You may notice slight discomfort in your elbow that disappears after a few hours or up to a day later. If you are relying on short periods of rest or use Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) to mask the pain of your injury, you are not giving your body the proper attention it needs to recover.

In fact, by masking your symptoms of pain, immobility, and discomfort, you are blocking out the warning signs your body is using to tell you something is wrong!

handyman construction hammer golfers elbow

By hiding your Golfer's Elbow symptoms you are putting yourself at risk for damaging your elbow permanently.

While some symptoms can occur suddenly (as with an accident or acute trauma), Golfer's Elbow is most often a case of gradual overuse. If not given proper attention, repetitive stress and re-injury will develop into a Chronic Golfer's Elbow Injury.

ulna radius twisting illustration

It is important to remember that pain is not the only indication of a serious injury. The micro tears, scarring, and inflammation which are the underlying causes of Golfer's Elbow can occur even if pain is not noticeable or is relieved quickly. Injuries due to repetitive movement are most often caused by this common misunderstanding.

Short term pain relief such as rest, elevation, and medication will not promote long term healing!

Being proactive is the best way to fight Golfer's Elbow. Stop the pain and damage before it causes further injury requiring months, or even years of your life spent in recovery. The information you will discover here will help you manage your Golfer's Elbow symptoms as soon as possible.

Talk to your physician about using cooling and warming temperature therapies to transform short term pain relief into long term recovery and sustainable results. Cold Therapy and Circulation Boost (via use of the Elbow T•Shellz Wrap®) will treat symptoms and minimize the damaging effects that daily, work related, or recreational activities can cause to an already injured, elbow.




When Should I Seek Medical Attention?

You should always consult your doctor when you begin to experience recurring pain or symptoms of Golfer's Elbow injury. It is essential to speak with a medical professional if you have started, regularly taking, "over the counter" medications to treat your symptoms.

We always recommend that you speak with your physician to confirm the nature and severity of your elbow injury. Continued discomfort in your elbow should be investigated, as it can lead to long term damage. If you experience any of the symptoms below then talk to your physician and see if our conservative treatments are right for you.

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you should speak with your physician as soon as possible. Common Symptoms of Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow/Golfer's Elbow) are as follows:

  • You cannot hold objects or carry out work activities because of your pain
  • You have limited range of motion that makes bending, straightening or even, moving your arm, difficult
  • You notice redness, heat, or swelling in your elbow
  • Your elbow appears deformed or there is obvious bruising
  • You've experienced a traumatic event or accident to your elbow that may have caused a broken bone or tear of tissues
  • You experience elbow pain that keeps you awake at night, even while at rest, and lasts more than 24-72 hours
  • Any other unusual symptoms of weakness or pain from the shoulder, forearm, wrist, and hand

A proper diagnosis from your physician is the only way to know for sure that you are suffering from Golfer's Elbow. A visit to your doctor can rule out any other conditions that may be causing your symptoms such as, injury to the shoulder, arthritis, or bursitis.

Speaking to your physician will help you understand the best course of action to treat your symptoms. Depending on the how much pain you are in and how long you have had symptoms, your physician will most likely recommend a program of conservative treatments which incorporate cooling and heating therapies. Through the use of an Elbow T•Shellz Wrap®, you can greatly reduce your chances of developing long term damage and return to living, pain free, as soon as possible!


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During your recovery, you will probably have to modify and/or eliminate any activities that cause pain or discomfort at the location of your soft tissue injury until the pain and inflammation settle. Always consult your doctor and/or Physical Therapist before using any of our outstanding products, to make sure they are right for you and your condition. The more diligent you are with your treatment and rehabilitation, the faster you will see successful results!


 
 

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