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Golfer’s Elbow Physical Therapy Treatment

Golfer’s elbow, also known as medial epicondylitis, is a condition that causes pain on the inside of the elbowPhysical therapy is a common treatment for golfer’s elbow. It can help to reduce pain, improve range of motion, and strengthen the muscles in the forearm.

Pain Management

The first step in physical therapy for golfer’s elbow is to manage pain. This may involve using ice, heat, or compression. Electrotherapy modalities such as TENs, ultrasound can also used to manage pain. Your physical therapist may also teach you some pain-relieving exercises.

Stretching Exercises

Once the pain has been reduced, your physical therapist will start you on some stretching exercises. These exercises will help to improve range of motion in the elbow and forearm.

Some of the stretching exercises that you may do include:

  • Wrist flexion/extension stretch: Hold your arm out in front of you with your palm facing down. Slowly bend your wrist up until you feel a stretch in the front of your forearm. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, then repeat with your palm facing up.
  • Forearm pronator/supinator stretch: Hold your arm out in front of you with your palm facing down. Slowly rotate your forearm until your palm is facing up. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, then repeat.
  • Elbow extension stretch: Hold your arm out in front of you with your elbow straight. Slowly bend your wrist back until you feel a stretch in the back of your forearm. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, then repeat.

Strengthening Exercises

Once you have been able to do the stretching exercises pain-free, your physical therapist will start you on some strengthening exercises. These exercises will help to strengthen the muscles in the forearm that are affected by golfer’s elbow. Without these exercises your treatment plan is incomplete.

Some of the strengthening exercises that you may do include:

  • Wrist flexion/extension exercises: Hold a weight in your hand with your palm facing down. Slowly bend your wrist up until you feel the weight. Hold the weight for 5 seconds, then slowly lower it back down. Repeat 10 times. Then, do the same exercise with your palm facing up.
  • Forearm pronator/supinator exercises: Hold a weight in each hand. Slowly rotate your forearms so that your palms face each other, then back to the starting position. Repeat 10 times.
  • Elbow extension exercises: Hold a weight in your hand with your elbow bent at a 90-degree angle. Slowly straighten your arm until it is fully extended. Hold the position for 5 seconds, then slowly bend your arm back to the starting position. Repeat 10 times.

Rehab Timeline

The amount of time it takes to recover from golfer’s elbow with physical therapy varies from person to person. However, most people start to feel better within 6-8 weeks. If you do not see any improvement after 12 weeks of physical therapy, you may need to see a doctor for further treatment.

Step-by-Step Guide to Complete Rehab

Here is a step-by-step guide to complete rehab for golfer’s elbow:

  1. Rest. Avoid any activities that cause pain in your elbow. This may mean taking a break from golf, tennis, or other repetitive activities. Rest is the primary factor for rehab.
  2. Ice. Apply ice to your elbow for 15-20 minutes at a time, 3-4 times a day. It will help in relieving the pain.
  3. Compression. Wear a compression sleeve or wrap on your elbow to help reduce swelling.
  4. Stretching. Start doing gentle stretching exercises as soon as the pain allows.
  5. Strengthening. Once the pain has subsided, start doing strengthening exercises.
  6. Continue with physical therapy as prescribed by your doctor or physical therapist.
  7. Be patient. Recovery from golfer’s elbow takes time. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results immediately.

If you follow these steps, you should be on your way to a full recovery from golfer’s elbow. Carefully performance of exercises and treatment plan is very important for on time recovery. It is advised that do perform these exercises under the supervision of skilled physiotherapist.

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