Monday, 28 April 2014

Golfers Elbow (Medial Epicondylitis)

I’ve mentioned before that I have been suffering with forearm tendinitis or Golfers Elbow and that it has been inhibiting my training, well I thought I’d document what I have done so far to try and cure myself of this annoying and sometimes debilitating condition. 
I’m not 100% sure what brought this on, although most people never know for sure as its usually just overuse but in my case I think it all started when I fell awkwardly on my left elbow throwing someone with Tani-otoshi. I remember my elbow hurting for a while afterwards and then just aching for a few weeks. As I never really rested it at this point it’s very possible that I made it worse especially when you consider the amount of breakfalls one does with their left arm, considering most people are right handed. Add to that my continued presence in the gym, lifting weights, and it’s no surprise it got worse. 

1) Complete Rest
When it got to the point that I was waking up in the morning with it hurting I decided that I had to stop doing anything that made it hurt. To my annoyance, that meant no more Judo or weights. 
2) Physiotherapy
I had a physiotherapy session with someone that visits my place of work. She thought that one session might be enough. She gave me a deep tissue massage.
3) Physiotherapy – Ultrasound

Luckily for me I had been proscribed 10 sessions of physiotherapy due to the car accident I had in November 2013. The physiotherapy was for the mild whiplash injury that I had suffered but I thought I’d take the opportunity to quiz the physio  about my elbow. He was able to give me ultrasound, massage and stretching exercises (see below)

And best of all told me to resume my normal physical activities as long as it didn’t make it any worse.

4) Physiotherapy – Complete Rest
Ok, so after a number of weeks of physio with no change he told me to cease all activities again, including Judo. This lasted approximately 3 weeks. After the 3 weeks I thought it was getting slightly better so I was told again to resume physical activities. My 10 physiotherapy sessions at this point had finished so I was sent away with some additional stretches.

5) Elbow Support

I purchased one of these

 and wore it whilst lifting weights and doing Judo. I also avoided any bicep or back exercises as these appeared to be aggravating the elbow the most. Not ideal but at least it meant I was still able to train.

6) Amino Acids

I was reading up on Golfers elbow on the NHS website and in the comments section loads of people recommended taking Amino Acids and some even went as far as to claim this alone cured their problem. So I ordered a batch from Holland & Barrett and will take these along with the Glucosamine that I already take.

7) Golfers Elbow Support

Something else that other sufferers recommended was this
form of elbow support which you basically wear all day. This looks different to the elbow support that I currently only use when lifting weights or doing Judo as it places direct pressure over the inflamed tendon. I have ordered this from Amazon and will wear this in conjunction with taking the Amino Acids and see what happens.

Please feel free to comment with your experiences and thoughts of this annoying injury.


  1. There is no magic key to helping tendinitis, only rest, rest and more rest. It took me a full year off of running to get over achilles tendinitis! If your original physio genuinely thought a single session would be enough, I'd seriously question their abilities and credentials if I were you.

  2. To be fair to my original Physio, I think she maybe thought it was something other than golfers elbow seeing as it was likely caused by trauma and not overuse. I had Tennis Elbow before and that just went by itself over the course of about 1 year but I was still able to train I just had to adjust what I was doing. for instance with Tennis elbow I couldnt do pressing movements like Bench Press so I did dumbell flys.

    with Golfers Elbow I can do bench press and shoulder press but I can do Bicep or back excercises