Golfers Elbow Injury Treatment
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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.
What Are Golfer’s Elbow Symptoms?
Typically the golfer’s elbow sufferer will experience pain when performing gripping tasks or resisted wrist/finger flexion. Pain can also be present when the muscles are stretched. There will be tenderness directly over the bony epicondyle, and there may be trigger points in the wrist flexor muscles.
Some sufferers will also have neck stiffness and tenderness, as well as signs of median nerve irritation. Most elbow movements will be pain-free. Gripping is painful.
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What Is Golfer’s Elbow Injury Treatment?
- 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.
- Take an over-the-counter pain reliever. Try ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), naproxen (Aleve, others) or acetaminophen (Tylenol, others).
- Stretch and strengthen the affected area. Your doctor may suggest specific stretching and strengthening exercises. Physical or occupational therapy can be helpful too.
- Reduce the load on your elbow. Wrap your elbow with an elastic bandage or use a forearm strap. And remember to maintain a rigid wrist position during all lifting activities.
- Consider other medications. If over-the-counter pain relievers aren’t effective, your doctor may recommend a cortisone injection to reduce pain and swelling. These injections usually provide only short-term pain relief.
- 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.