We have an entire page on golfers elbow, symptoms and what you can do to ease the pain of golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis). This post here is about golfers elbow pain, and what goes on inside your body when you feel this discomfort.
Golfer’s elbow is a painful condition resulting in pain in your wrist, your forearm muscles and your hand and the inside of your elbow.
You need not be a golfer to suffer with inner elbow pain. You don’t even need to be doing regular exercises or sports activities. It’s possible to strain your muscle with no strenuous activity. If your muscles aren’t well toned, they will strain easier, as will your tendons.
This knock on effect can cause pain and tenderness, especially if you ignore it and your injury continues to build over time.
This is because the pain you feel results from inflamed tendons, an injury on the medial side (inside) of your elbow. These injuries derive from overuse of your affected arm.
These tendons slot into the long bone of your upper arm, which is why the pain radiates out. Because these are the tendons responsible for moving your wrist and your fingers. They’re also involved when you grip which is why you struggle with that when you’re dealing with golfer’s elbow.
You’ll see in this image that there are four superficial muscles in the anterior compartment on the inner portion of your elbow. Essentially your forearm muscles.
- the flexor carpi ulnaris
- palmaris longus
- flexor carpi radialis
- pronator teres.
They all originate from a common tendon which arises from the medial epicondyle of the humerus bone.
We’ve dealt with the symptoms of golfer’s elbow in our page dedicated to golfer’s elbow treatment.
Let’s look at what a tendon is then.
Our body is made up of several moving parts. A tendon is the end part of a muscle which connects our bones and muscles together. It’s strong, being made of collagen and fibres. It is also a tissue which stretches slightly to allow us to move, without over extending.
When we exercise we think about building our muscles. But, we often forget about these tiny pieces of tissue which work hard, and are less heavy duty than the muscles to which they connect. Although tendons can adapt to increasing demand, and can slowly self repair from injury, they become injured much easier than our larger muscles. And so we must be careful.
Why do we get tendon pain and inflammation in our elbow when we play golf?
Here are the major reasons we can develop pain and inflammation in our tendons.
The overuse injury. Sudden increase in the load we’re putting on these small areas. This happens when, for instance, we’re doing a lot of extra activity. This could be in the gym, or if we’re gardening or decorating. It also happens when we’re learning or trying to improve a sport through repeated practise, such as golf. And this leads to the golfer getting golfer’s inner elbow pain.
The load doesn’t have to be sustained. If you fall and stop yourself, then this shock can inflame the small tendons easier than larger muscles.
*A work that gives you an unavoidable need to constantly overload through a sustained heavy activity.
*On the other end of the spectrum, if you don’t use your elbow enough then our tendons get lazy. They don’t adapt to activity as well and therefore get damaged easier. We can’t manage as much load as we should without suffering with golfers injury pain.
Common risk factors that make us more predisposed to suffering with golfers elbow pain.
*Depression and anxiety
*Lifestyle factors such as smoking and being overweight also increase your chances of suffering more from golfer’s elbow pain.
Is it possible to prevent golfer’s elbow?
For sure. And now you’ve read this article, you’re in a much better place. As you know understand what happens when you strain your muscles in your forearm with repeated overuse, you can spot those activities, such as playing golf or playing tennis, which will lead to this painful condition of the elbow. Thus avoiding a trip to your doctor, or to us.
If you’re reading all of this because you are already suffering with golfer’s elbow pain, then you can book in for a remedial session online.