Golfer's Elbow Treatment


What is Golfer’s Elbow?

Golfer’s elbow is an injury to the muscles that flex your wrist and fingers. The site of injury is typically the medial epicondyle, a bony bump on the inside of the elbow where these muscles attach. Golfer's elbow is usually caused by overusing the muscles in the forearm that allow you to grip, rotate your arm, and flex your wrist.

What Are Golfer’s Elbow Signs and Symptoms?

Golfer's elbow (medial epicondylitis) causes pain and inflammation in the tendons that connect the forearm to the elbow. The pain centers on the bony bump on the inside of your elbow and may radiate into the forearm. It can usually be treated effectively with rest.

Golfer's elbow is usually caused by overusing the muscles in the forearm that allow you to grip, rotate your arm, and flex your wrist. Repetitive flexing, gripping, or swinging can cause pulls or tiny tears in the tendons. Despite the name, this condition doesn't just affect golfers. Any repetitive hand, wrist, or forearm motions can lead to golfer's elbow. Risky sports include tennis, bowling, and baseball - in fact, it's sometimes called pitcher's elbow. People may also get it from using tools like screwdrivers and hammers, raking, or painting.

The primary symptom of golfer's elbow is pain that is centred near the bony knob on the inside of the elbow. Sometimes it extends all along the inner forearm. You're most likely to feel it when you bend your arm inwards or flex your wrist towards the body. In most cases, the pain becomes gradually worse.

Golfer’s Elbow

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What Is Golfer’s Elbow Injury Treatment?

As with any overuse injury, it's crucial to get treatment for golfer's elbow quickly. Initially, apply ice (wrapped in cloth so it is not in direct contact with the skin) to your elbow for 15-20 minutes three to four times per day. You will need to rest the elbow and avoid movements that aggravate the problem, You may need to modify the way you carry out everyday activities. You may benefit from a splint or strap to prevent pulling of the injured tendon.

Your doctor will probably recommend an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug), like ibuprofen, to reduce pain and swelling - these are also available over-the-counter. These are available in tablet, cream and gel forms

If the symptoms are troublesome, you may also be given an injection of a corticosteroid, usually mixed with a local anaesthetic, into the tender area of inflammation. This may relieve pain and swelling in the short term, however, the effectiveness of this treatment is not always good.

  • Rest: Put your golf game or other repetitive activities on hold until the pain is gone. If you return to activity too soon, you may make it worse.
  • Ice the affected area. Apply ice packs to your elbow for 15 to 20 minutes at a time, three to four times a day for several days. To protect your skin, wrap the ice packs in a thin towel. It may also help to massage the inner elbow with ice for five minutes at a time, two to three times a day.
  • Stretch and strengthen the affected area. Your doctor may suggest specific stretching and strengthening exercises. Physical or occupational therapy can be helpful too.
  • Gradually return to your usual activities. When you’re no longer in pain, practice the arm motions of your sport or activity. Review your golf or tennis swing with an instructor and make adjustments if needed.
  • Ask your doctor when surgery is appropriate. Surgery is seldom necessary. But if your signs and symptoms don’t respond to conservative treatment in six to 12 months, surgery may be an option.

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