Best Golfer's Elbow Exercises for Relief

golfers elbow exercises

Best Golfer's Elbow Exercises for Relief

Also known as medial epicondylitis, golfer’s elbow is a cousin of the more common tennis elbow. Both are overuses injuries that impact more than just golfers and tennis players, but can afflict anyone who performs repetitive arm motions for occupational or recreational activities.

For golfer’s elbow, this includes rock climbers, pitchers, weight lifters, carpenters, gardeners and more. Over time, the constant stress on the arm, forearm and wrist leads to strain and mini tears in the forearm tendon, which can cause pain, soreness, stiffness, numbness and even tingling at the elbow joint.

Among several effective golfer's elbow treatment options are specific exercises that strengthen and stretch the forearm muscles and tendons to improve mobility and stability. By increasing circulation and boosting oxygen flow to the area, the exercises help to stimulate repair and healing of the tendon.

Physical therapists often prescribe these exercises with a regimen that may involve performing them more than once a day for several weeks or a few months to alleviate pain and retore full function. While the exercises can be performed at home, working with a physical therapist or healthcare professional helps ensure proper execution, necessary modifications/progressions and a more successful outcome.

Best golfer's elbow exercises

Do these exercises slowly, without forceful or jerky movements. Although you may feel mild discomfort when performing them, you should not be in pain. If you experience pain or your symptoms get worse, stop doing the exercises and consult your physical therapist or doctor.

Isometric Wrist Extension

  • While seated, place forearm on a table or the arm of a chair with your palm facing down.
  • Place your opposite hand on the back of your affected hand.
  • Pull your affected hand up, pressing down with the opposite hand to create resistance.
  • Hold for 10 seconds, slowly increasing the resistance. Keep your body still.
  • Gently release. Do 15 reps.

Isometric Wrist Flexion

  • While seated, rest your forearm on a table or the arm of a chair with palm facing up.
  • Press your opposite palm into your affected hand.
  • Push your affected hand upward while pressing down with your opposite hand to create resistance.
  • Hold for 10 seconds, slowly increasing the resistance. Keep your body still.
  • Gently release. Do 15 reps.

Resisted Wrist Extension

  • While seated, hold a light weight with your affected arm.
  • Place your forearm on a table or the arm of a chair with your hand hanging over the edge and palm facing down.
  • Slowly lower your hand down and raise it back up to the original position.
  • Do 1–3 sets of 15 reps.

Resisted Wrist Flexion

  • While seated, hold a light weight with your affected arm.
  • Place your forearm on a table or the arm of a chair with your hand hanging over the edge and palm facing up.
  • Slowly lower your hand down and then raise it back up to the original position.
  • Do 1–3 sets of 15 reps.

 Forearm Pronation and Supination

  • Support your forearm on a table with your wrist placed at the edge and hand in fist with thumb side facing up.
  • Slowly rotate wrist so palm (fist) faces down; then return to start position.
  • Slowly rotate wrist so palm (fist) faces up; then return to start position.
  • Begin without a weight and perform up to 15 reps without pain.
  • When you can complete reps without pain, try exercise holding a light dumbbell and perform 15 reps. Control the motion, and do not let weight rotate the forearm in either direction.
  • Repeat on the other arm.

 Tennis Ball Squeeze

  • Support your forearm on a table with your wrist placed at the edge, holding a stress ball or tennis ball with palm up.
  • Gently squeeze ball, hold for five to 10 counts, and release.
  • Complete 10 reps. Repeat with the other hand to balance strength in each hand.

Golfer’s Elbow Stretch

  • Extend your affected arm in front of you with your fingers and palm facing up.
  • Use your opposite hand to gently pull your fingers and wrist down and back toward your body.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Do 2–5 reps.

Treatment option for golfer's elbow

 

A new treatment from Stā Active, the Fiix Elbow Program, is an FDA-registered medical device that directly targets the cause of the pain to repair the tissue.

The Fiix Elbow Program automates a proven clinical procedure called instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM), which delivers repetitive strokes to the tendon to break up scar tissue and adhesions, increase oxygenation and blood flow and stimulate collagen synthesis to promote healing.

Golfer's elbow sufferers simply wear the unit for 10 minutes per day, three times per week for eight weeks, while also performing specific simple exercises. This protocol has been shown to result in significantly less pain overall, a healthier tendon, increased strength in the arm muscles and greater ability to use the forearm and hands without pain.

 


Nate Stier MPT, LAT

Owner of Orthopedic & Sports Rehab Physical Therapy Clinics. Former Director of Rehabilitation for the Minnesota Vikings and Graduate of the Mayo School of Health and Sciences.

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