Golfer’s elbow, or medial epicondylitis, is an overuse injury that causes painful inflammation at the point where the tendons of the forearm muscles attach to the bony bump on the inside of the elbow. Usually, the condition stems from damage to the muscles and tendons that control the wrist and fingers. This type of damage often results from forceful, repetitive wrist and finger motions, such as those involved in golfing, raking, painting, using a screwdriver, throwing a ball, or lifting a heavy object. As such, golfer’s elbow is not limited to golfers.
If you have golfer’s elbow, an elbow specialist at Premier Bone & Joint Centers in Thermopolis, Wyoming, can help you overcome your pain and get back to the activities you enjoy.
How Is Golfer’s Elbow Treated?
Rest is a key component of golfer’s elbow treatment. To prevent the condition from worsening, it is important to avoid repetitive wrist and finger motions until the pain improves. In the meantime, the following therapies may be helpful:
- Ice applications – An ice pack can be applied to the inner elbow 3-4 times a day for 15-20 minutes at a time. It may also be beneficial to massage the inner elbow with ice.
- Bracing – A counterforce brace can be worn to reduce tendon and muscle strain in the affected arm.
- Physical therapy – A physician or physical therapist can recommend appropriate stretches and strengthening exercises. For instance, progressive loading of the affected tendon can be particularly effective for treating golfer’s elbow.
- Medication – An over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) can help relieve painful inflammation around the elbow.
- Surgery – Surgical treatment is usually unnecessary for golfer’s elbow, but it may be considered to address severe or persistent pain.
In general, once the pain subsides, a gradual return to activity is best. Many people begin by practicing the wrist and finger motions involved in their sport or activity. For instance, if golf is your game, a golf instructor can assess your swing to confirm that your technique is correct or suggest adjustments if needed.
Consult With an Orthopedic Specialist
Contact Premier Bone & Joint Centers today to schedule an appointment with an elbow doctor at our satellite clinic in Thermopolis, WY.