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7 Best Exercises for Golfer’s Elbow

0 2 years ago

You don’t have to play golf to experience the pain and tenderness of medial epicondylitis, aka golfer’s elbow. “We also see it in people who play sports where they throw or weight lift and have jobs where they grip and hold things,” says physical therapist Matt Popiolkowski, PT, DPT.

If you have a mild case, rest may help relieve your symptoms, especially if you don’t have to continue doing the activity that caused the condition. But enlisting help from an orthopaedist or physical therapist can reduce recovery time and discomfort, says Dr. Popiolkowski.

“A physical therapist is a great first stop. Most of the time, you don’t need a referral. We can also refer you to the right doctor if needed as we start physical therapy exercises for golfer’s elbow,” he notes.

What is golfer’s elbow?

On the inside crook of your elbow, several muscles come together and connect. These muscles are responsible for flexing your wrist and fingers. Golfer’s elbow happens when these muscles are inflamed.

“Those muscles are always in use, and that’s their anchor point. When flexing and contracting, they tug and pull at that anchor point to do their job. The issue comes when those muscles are worked beyond their limit,” explains Dr. Popiolkowski. “The tissue fibers become disorganized and cannot function normally. This can cause pain, weakness and inflammation.”

Most people with golfer’s elbow experience elbow tenderness, even from a light touch. You might also have pain when you bend your wrist.

7 physical therapy exercises for golfer’s elbow

Dr. Popiolkowski says an effective golfer’s elbow treatment plan first starts with exercises to get your symptoms under control. Then, you do exercises to improve upper body mobility. Here, he shares seven golfer’s elbow stretches and exercises to help you heal and restore function.

Upper body exercises for golfer’s elbow symptoms

Golfer’s elbow stretches and exercises can quickly improve symptom intensity and frequency, says Dr. Popiolkowski. “You may notice improvement during your first week of treatment. But it depends on how inflamed and irritated the tissue is. If the tissue is really affected, it could take six to eight weeks — or even longer — to see significant improvement.”

Three golfer’s elbow stretches and exercises he recommends for symptom control include:


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