How To Recognise Golfers Elbow, Can Sports Massage Really Help?

Arm pain can be totally debilitating, especially when you are trying to get things done during the day or sleep soundly at night. 

In this article, we’ll discuss golfers elbow, what the signs and symptoms are, what you should do if you experience it and how sports massage might be able to help you.

What is a Golfer’s Elbow?

A golfer’s elbow (also known as medial epicondyle) refers to an injury on the inside of the elbow that affects the forearm muscles, and your wrist flexor muscles. It’s inflammation and pain in the tendons that connect your hand with your shoulder.

Although this condition often occurs in people who play sports such as golf, softball, volleyball, and even tennis, it may also be caused by repetitive strain on the same muscle groups while working at a desk job. Golfer’s elbow becomes an issue when you continuously repeat movement patterns (like using a mouse and keyboard), these movements from normal activities won’t be noticeable until it begins to hurt or become stiff.

What are the common signs of Golfer’s Elbow?

Here are three major signs and symptoms of golfer’s elbow;

Pain is the first sign of an injury. If you feel pain in your elbow, stop what you’re doing immediately. This could cause further damage and/or inflammation. Take a break until the pain subsides and keep an eye on the painful spots over the next couple of days to see if it persists.

Swelling is another early warning sign of an injury. Swelling occurs as your body tries to protect itself from irritants (sitting at your desk or taking part in sports etc). It may be mild or severe depending on the severity of the injury. If you notice swelling ice the area for 10 minutes 3 times a day and if it still persists it’s best to visit your doctor who might prescribe you with medication to help or suggest massage treatments that might reduce your symptoms.

Stiffness is another common symptom of a golfer’s elbow injury and it often accompanies swelling. If you notice stiffness in your arm on a regular basis, you might want to start adding some arm exercises into your routine.

How Can Sports Massage Help Golfer’s Elbow?

Sports massages help relieve the pain and swelling associated with a golfer’s elbow injury. Your massage therapist will apply pressure to the area to break down some of the tension that you’re feeling in the muscles and tendons, it will also help with the inflammation in the arm which is what causes much of the pain.

The Massage techniques help to encourage good blood flow around the body, which is essential for healing. Although there is no cure for golfers elbow, there are ways to treat the injury and prevent recurrence. 

Sports therapists use a variety of techniques to ease the symptoms of golfers elbow. These include gentle stretching exercises, ice massage, ultrasound treatments and electrical stimulation. These therapies are effective for treating golfers elbow because they target the problem area and provide relief without causing any damage to the joint.

  • Ice Massage – Ice massage is a popular treatment for golfers elbow. This method involves applying cold packs directly to the affected area, which helps reduce pain and swelling. 
  • Ultrasound Treatment – Ultrasounds are another common treatment used by sports therapists to alleviate pain and inflammation associated with golfers elbow. A transducer delivers low-amplitude sound waves into the skin. As the sound waves bounce off the muscles, tendons, and cartilage, they cause vibrations in the tissue. 
  • Electrical Stimulation – Electrical stimulation is another treatment that has been proven to relieve pain and improve range of motion in patients with golfer’s elbow. A device called a TENS unit delivers mild electric current to the affected area. The current stimulates nerves that transmit signals between the brain and the muscles. It causes the muscles to relax and the joints to move more freely.

Ongoing Care For Golfers Elbow

There are several things you can do to help prevent future injuries.

1. Warm up

Warm up your muscles using stretching exercises. This helps loosen tight muscles and relieve any tension. Warming up before starting your desk job or enjoying your sport improves your posture and reduces the chance of injury. Remember: Warm muscles are easier to move than cold ones.

2. Wear proper gear

If you do take part in regular exercise, proper equipment is essential. You can get more ergonomic mice and keyboards that might help your symptoms. If you’re an avid golfer, choose a golf club that fits your hand correctly and feels comfortable. 

3. Avoid overuse injury

Overuse injuries occur when a muscle or tendon gets used to performing a certain activity too much. This can happen when you use the same muscles repeatedly over a period of time. As a result, your tendons become weak and may tear. To avoid this, limit repetitive motions by modifying your techniques or taking regular breaks to give your arm muscles a rest.

4. Know Your Limits

Know your physical limits. If you feel pain in your shoulder, elbow or wrist, stop what you are doing. This could be due to an injury and powering through could make it worse or cause the flare up to stick around for longer.

Hopefully, this article has given you some insight into Golfer’s Elbow, how to spot it and what sports massage can do to help.

If you’d like to try sports massage with the team at Ana Harmony to help reduce your Golfers Elbow symptoms, book in for a treatment on the Cookham Road in Maidenhead or give the team a ring on 01628 298 040.

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