Elbow/forearm pain from gardening??


Spring has sprung and many of us are looking to spend time in the garden, tidying up shrubs, pruning, digging and sowing seeds. A healthy activity for mind, soul and body…until a period of pruning leads to elbow pain

The forearm muscles may be unaccustomed to the work needed to repeatedly squeeze and release the handles of secateurs, leading to soreness on the outer or inner elbow bones.

Lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow) and medial epicondylitis (golfers elbow) are conditions where the muscle/tendon/bone insertion from the meaty forearm muscles become irritated and lead to pain when they attach to the bones of the upper arm at the elbow joint.

Gripping may be harder and painful, stretching your forearms will be tight and picking up a kettle (or pint!) even harder still.

Panic not, this should not mean your season of gardening will be cut short (excuse the pun). Anti inflammatory medication can help initial pain symptoms and physiotherapy treatment will help offload the sore area working around the affected muscles. You may also be given appropriate exercises to improve symptoms.

How can we help?
Check your grip and wrist positioning when pruning. Can you spot the dropped wrist angle in the second picture? This can overwork the forearm muscles, leading to the golfers elbow symptoms. Keep excessive angles of the wrist to a minimum when you can.

Starting with correct medication to help alleviate the inflammation around the nerve, anti inflammatories can help, or speak to your GP/Pharmacist.

The good news – most people will recover from this, though if symptoms persist with treatment, we can refer you for further investigation if needed.

Contact us for more information and to book an assessment with a Chartered Physiotherapist.

Bury Physiotherapy Clinic
Maynewater Lane
Bury St Edmunds
IP33 2AB
Tel: 01284 748200
Email: admin@buryphysio.co.uk
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Maynewater Lane, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP33 2AB | 01284 748200 | admin@buryphysio.co.uk