If you are dealing with golfer’s elbow, also known as medial epicondylitis, and feeling pain when you try to sleep at night, you are not alone. This overuse injury associated with swelling and tenderness of the tendons in your arm can become frustratingly painful while you’re trying to get some much-needed shuteye. In this article, we will teach you how to ensure that sleeping with a golfer's elbow won't be a problem for much longer, as well as other methods to ensure that the pain doesn’t wreak havoc on your night time rest and relaxation!
Why Does Golfer’s Elbow Hurt in the Morning?
Golfer’s elbow is a form of tendonitis that affects the tendons in the arm. If left untreated, it can not only cause you to miss important golf moments, but also prevent you from enjoying your daily activities. Most people who suffer from golfer’s elbow experience pain at night, making it hard for them to get restful sleep.
Golfer’s elbow, like tennis elbow and other injuries, tends to feel stiffer in the morning. This is because overnight you aren’t moving as much, and your muscles and tendons can experience stiffness. Your sleeping posture may also cause nighttime pain if you sleep on the involved arm.
The Best Sleeping Position
The elbow symptoms of medial epicondylitis respond best to sleeping positions that allow the arm to remain straight, and for optimum blood flow to flow through the tendons in your elbow that encourage healing. Try sleeping on your back with your affected arm straight along your side. Use positioning pillows or folded blankets to help keep your body (and arm) in position. Avoid applying pressure to the affected arm, as this will help reduce inflammation and swelling in the elbow.
Positions to Avoid When Sleeping
Sleeping on your affected arm can cause irritation and discomfort. If this occurs, sleep on your opposite arm or rest on a soft pillow or two. This way, you're spreading the weight out between multiple areas, so as not to irritate one spot too much. You also want to make sure you stretch before exercise or working out to prevent further injury and compound the original problem. Something like yoga is good for stretching and getting the blood flowing through warm-ups in preparation for exercising.
Tips to Improve Golfer’s Elbow at Night
When treating a golfer's elbow at night, it is your primary goal to help improve blood circulation in the weakened arm. Try these tips to help ensure adequate rest to boost your overall health and relieve symptoms.
There are many ways to avoid getting aches and pains in your arm. You will find that compression garments, such as arm sleeves, might be exactly what you're looking for. Golfer's elbow/ tennis elbow responds well to gentle support, or even better, a sleeve with a little grip on it, so it helps hold the golf club or tennis racket if you're going to do that kind of activity.
Before you hit the hay, in order to say aloha to your busy day, make sure you have a herbal heating pad ready and waiting in your bedroom. Sleep is a great time for muscles and tendons to get the treatment they need! The warmth from the heating pad will loosen those knotted tissues, relieving pain and improving mobility. Place the heating pad on top of your elbow for about 20 to 30 minutes, then place another one underneath it. If your skin does contact the heating pad, it's possible for burns and irritation to occur, so it might be best to keep them separate until you've taken a cat nap or two!
When one hurts their elbow, there is a right, and in many cases wrong, way to heal. The first 72 hours of rest is ideal to stop yourself from being active, because the inflammation will only worsen if you continue using your affected arm. After the three day period of resting, when the pain subsides, it is time to start moving that arm again. The best time for heat treatment would be before bed, so you can get plenty of sleep during your healing process. Remember that ice constricts blood vessels, which can keep them from widening and allowing more oxygenated blood through. When you're trying to heal through heat therapy, it's important not to forget about compression wraps, which are beneficial for relieving pressure and swelling around your elbow!
If you have active swelling, then ice is a good choice, and you should avoid heat. The cold acts as an anti-inflammatory, and heat would worsen the swelling.
A simple, yet effective way to soften your muscles that show signs of tension is through external massage. If you are experiencing pain in your arms due to pressure or stress in your work life, find some time from your schedule and seek out a licensed professional who can get rid of the pain. When going for an appointment, be sure to let your therapist know about the areas where there is pain, so they can focus on them. They’ll have special creams and lotions for muscle aches that will help subdue them and help you continue with daily tasks without feeling any more stress or strain.
Pain CreamWhen major injuries prevent you from sleep, like a golfer's elbow, apply pain cream before bed. There are several kinds of pain creams on the market, each working a little differently, but with one common goal - reducing your everyday pains. Rub some over inside your elbows before you go to bed at night, and it'll shut down your sensory nerves so that you can slip into an easy mind-body connection and drift off peacefully into dreamland.