I set about pruning my roses yesterday, and so it should not have been a surprise to wake up this morning with pain on the inside of my elbow!
With so many gardening enthusiasts in the hills - at this time of year we tend to see an influx of gardening associated injures. Especially due to pruning and chopping wood!
I was quick to realise that I had symptoms indicative of Golfer's Elbow (or Medial Epicondylitis); an overuse injury to the muscles and tendons that bend the fingers & wrist. People experience pain near the bony bump on the inside of the elbow. This pain is usually associated with resisted gripping or wrist bending.
In young people, Golfer's Elbow can occur from an injury during club, racket or throwing sports or weight lifting. Or from work duties including hammering, painting & cooking. The symptoms of pain & weakness in gripping result from damage to the muscles and tendons involved.
Chronic Golfer's Elbow is far more common, usually occurring in 35-60 year olds following a period of increased use. The involved soft tissues have age and use-related degeneration, making them susceptible to injury.
We provisionally diagnose Golfer's Elbow by taking a history of symptoms and conducting clinical tests. Diagnostic ultrasound and MRI are the best tests to confirm diagnosis. We are always mindful to rule out neck issues in diagnosing Golfer's Elbow.
As for Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis), the best course of treatment is hotly debated in our professional literature.
At AHHOT we focus our treatments on decreasing symptoms, whilst maintaining balanced muscle and tendon load in a graded & safe manner. Taking the time to discuss how each individual uses their body in everyday activities, helps us to customise treatments. We even look at work tools or sporting form to assist getting the best outcome from treatment, and with aim to prevent recurrence.
So for now, I will take a bit of my own advice, and finish the pruning next weekend!