Can Chiropractor’s Fix Golfer’s Elbow?

Never has there ever been a sport that can be so frustrating and keep you coming back for more. Golf has blown up in the last 10 years to become one of the most highly sought-after athletic activities in America. Once a sport that I was made fun of for playing in high school is now a past time for all of my high school buddies. It’s a great place for camaraderie and sport in one place. Like all other sports injuries are likely to happen. The most common injury in golf is pain on the inside of the elbow commonly referred to as golfers elbow or medial epicondylitis.  

Yes, chiropractors can fix golfer’s elbow.

Medial epicondylitis is inflammation of the bony process on the inside of the elbow joint. It is where multiple tendons attach and with repetitious exercise like golfing or swinging a hammer or other repetitious movements there can be inflammation of those tendons that can progress into inflammation of the periosteum on the bone. This is a very painful condition and usually causes a loss of grip strength over time. It is nagging, relentless, and often unresponsive to conservative care or home treatments. Typically, these people will try and ride out the pain for as long as possible until seeking care. Physical therapists have long had the market cornered for this condition. Physical therapy is an amazing tool and approach to managing the condition, but often patients do not have an hour a day three times a week to go to a physical therapy office and seek treatment.

So what are you to do if you’re suffering from this condition and are not gaining with home therapy? Chiropractic offers a unique approach to soft tissue and hard tissue management of the area. The properly trained Chiropractor can provide relief within a visit or two with simple stretching soft tissue manipulation and sometimes adjusting or correcting the articulations within the elbow joint. Furthermore, an untrained chiropractor will not have success treating this condition as they only focus on the area of pain. All too often there are restrictions in the shoulder and wrist that have led to the condition. 

Our body is amazing at compensating and if we are not utilizing our wrist and shoulder properly we will start to over-utilize the elbow joint. As I said above, this is an overuse injury typically emanating from tendinitis on the inside of the elbow. The properly trained provider can identify these functional deficits in the other joints and start addressing the issue as a whole. Ice tends to be a successful remedy for the short term, but relieving the stress on the tendons must be the number one priority.

I have spent many hours studying golfers elbow as I’m an avid golfer and have dealt with it multiple times in my career. I recently went as far as getting additional certification from the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI). The Titleist Performance Institute is a training facility that provides specialized education for healthcare providers in addressing golf-specific injuries. This took hundreds of hours and multiple tests to attain. I’m able to look at swing characteristics patterns and compensation movements that lead to the injury and start providing therapeutic treatment and corrective drills and exercises to alleviate the condition.

What kind of treatment helps golfer’s elbow?

One of the most beneficial treatments that we offer in our office is extracorporeal shockwave therapy. This is old technology that has been re-developed and re-distributed to the sports world. We utilize low-frequency shockwaves to disrupt injured tissues and poorly circulated areas. The shockwaves promote neovascularization as well as eradicating afferent or pain fibers. Promoting new blood flow through the area drives out old inflammation in irritating toxins that are causing the pain. Golfers often report a significant reduction in pain after the first visit. The procedure is quick usually only lasting 10 to 20 minutes and does not require any anesthesia. 

Proper knowledge and education as well as training on the device is absolutely crucial when working on this area. I’m starting to see more and more providers buy these machines or low end alternatives that are not successful nor do they have the training to treat these areas and or sometimes cause further harm.

Finding a properly trained provider and equipment is essential if you want success in treating this condition.  There are too many quacks out there trying to make a quick buck off of you and know very little about what they’re doing. Our office has multiple reviews when it comes to treating golfer’s elbow and a success rate of about 95% reduction in pain. And by a reduction in pain, I mean at least 80% relief or improvement in functional abilities. 

So yes, properly trained chiropractors can treat golfers elbow and can do it very effectively.

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