- Cubital tunnel syndrome is a pinched nerve located at the elbow generally known as the “funny bone”
- Golfer’s elbow is inflammation of the tendon attachment of the flexor pronator muscles in the forearm
- They are different because cubital tunnel syndrome is caused by compression of a nerve while golfer’s elbow is inflammation of a tendon (Source)
My friend, John, had been experiencing pain in his elbow for a few months and he wasn’t sure what it was.
He had seen a few doctors who told him that he might have cubital tunnel syndrome or golfer’s elbow, but they weren’t sure which one it was.
He did some research online and found that the symptoms for both conditions were very similar, so he wasn’t sure which one he had.
He tried to continue playing golf as usual, but the pain started to get worse and worse. Finally, he went to see a specialist who confirmed that he had cubital tunnel syndrome.
The doctor told him that there were three treatment options: no treatment, conservative treatment, or surgery.
The doctor recommended conservative treatment first.
He said that John should try using an elbow strap counterforce brace and keeping his arm in a flexed position as much as possible. John followed the doctor’s instructions and after a few weeks, the pain started to go away.
He was able to continue playing golf without any pain.
Thanks to the doctor’s advice, John was able to avoid surgery and continue playing golf without any pain.
This video also helps figure out if you’ve got Golfer’s elbow or something else:
Even if golf may be seen as one of the sporting activities that rarely cause injuries, people still get injuries since it’s a game like any other. Some of the common injuries that occur at the golf court are the golfer’s elbow and cubital tunnel.
These two occur due to using the arm for a long time and improper support. Golfer’s elbow is the injury of the nerve of the elbow, while the cubital tunnel is an injury of the tendons at the elbow.
The two injuries can be treated by either home remedies, conservative treatment or surgery in severe cases. More about the golfer’s elbow and the cubital tunnel is discussed below.
Is Golfer’s Elbow the Same as Cubital Tunnel?
Though they both affect the elbow, they are not the same. While the golfer’s elbow affects the ulna nerve, which affects the 4th and the 5th fingers, the cubital tunnel affects the tendons.
Cubital Tunnel Symptoms
- Intermittent numbness
- Pain t the little finger, ring finger and the inside of the hand
Symptoms of the Golfer’s Elbow
- Pain and tenderness on the inside of the elbow
- Stiffness on the elbow joint when bending or straightening
- Pain in the 4th and the 5th finger
- Weakness in the hands and wrist
What Causes the Golfer’s Elbow and the Cubital Tunnel?
- Inappropriate sleeping style
- Overusing the arm for various activities
How to Treat Golfer’s Elbow and the Cubital Tunnel
Different people have used different treatment methods that worked for them, and here are some:
(Make sure to read our article about whether Golfer’s elbow ever goes away)
One of the methods that have been proven to work is therapy. You can visit a professional therapist who will do various therapies on your arm to help you recover from the golfer’s elbow and cubical tunnel.
You must choose a certified and experienced professional therapist for better results.
Taking a Rest
If you realize the pain in your elbow, you need to examine how you use your arm and how often you use it. The problem could be because you are overusing your arm, causing stress on your nerves and tendons. And, yes, if you’ve got golfer’s elbow you can make it worse!
Taking a rest or decreasing the activities you do could bring relief. This has worked for some people, so it can also work for you.
You can do several exercises on your arm that could make you feel better. You can try finger rolls, wrist curls and supinator and pronator exercises. They will help make your nerves get back to their normal state.
You should make the workouts a routine that must be consistent to see results. You can also learn how to protect Golfer’s elbow while playing golf!
Use of a Flexbar
Using the Flexbar to train muscles has helped people with a golfer’s elbow. You need to continuously use this bar until you feel good. Make it a habit to train every day in an eccentric contraction.
You should read the manufacturer’s guide to ensure you use it correctly. Also, look for a brand known to give the best results. They are found in different colors, green, red, and blue. The red Flexbar has had many positive reviews from users.
KT Tape is also another good option for Golfer’s elbow.
You might be unlucky that the pain can’t go away after several years of doing all the exercises and therapies. This is a severe case that needs serious medical attention. In this case, a doctor could suggest that you have an operation conducted to solve the problem.
It’s good to follow the doctor’s advice if you have tried those other methods without success.
Although golfer’s elbow and cubital tunnel are different problems that affect the arm, treatment has some commonalities. However, some treatment methods can treat the cubital tunnel but won’t treat the golfer’s elbow.
Sometimes these are not serious problems that need medical attention since the pain can go away without medication. However, if you realize that the pain isn’t going away, try some home remedies for a few weeks, and if it’s not working, you should see a doctor.
Hi, my name is Vince Richmond and I am the owner of earlygolfer.com. This blog is all about golfing, from tips and tricks to equipment reviews and everything in between. I have been golfing for over 20 years now and love the sport more than ever. I am always looking to improve my game and help others do the same. When I’m not golfing, I can be found spending time with my wife and two kids or playing some other sport (I’m a bit of a sports junkie). Thanks for reading and be sure to check out earlygolfer.com for all your golfing needs!