Golfer’s Elbow – About Golfer’s Elbow

Golfer’s elbow, a type of tendonitis, is a common condition affecting the inner side of the elbow, causing pain and inflammation. As the name implies, the condition can occur in golfers. However, golfer’s elbow can affect anyone whose activities often involve repeated wrist and hand movements. The condition is also called medial epicondylitis.

What are the signs and symptoms of golfer’s elbow?

Golfer’s elbow often causes pain on the inner side of your elbow. Sometimes, your pain may be felt farther down your elbow. Depending on the severity of your injury, you may also experience one or more of following
  • Tenderness on the inner side of your elbow when touched or pressed
  • Difficulty holding or grasping objects
  • Feeling of weakness of forearm muscles that move your wrist and hand

Swelling may also occur if muscle fibers or any of the tendons that attach to the inner side of your elbow is torn.

What causes golfer’s elbow?

Most often, golfer’s elbow occurs because of repetitive movements of the wrist and hand. Repetitive wrist and hand bending or forearm twisting may lead to the development of golfer’s elbow. This type of injury is often called an overuse injury.

Sports at risk for the condition may include golf, tennis, baseball, and softball. Work activities involving repetitive hand and wrist movements, such as painting, hammering, and typing may lead to the development of the condition, as well. Improper technique on lifting weights during weight training may also lead to the development of the condition.

What you can do

In most cases, golfer’s elbow symptoms are mild and do not lead to permanent disability. However, ignoring your symptoms and continuing through your usual sports or activities may lead to further complications or delayed tissue healing.

First thing that you should do is try to rest your injured elbow and apply an ice pack immediately to help relieve your pain and minimize or prevent formation of swelling. Ice massage may also be used if an ice pack is not readily available. Elevating your injured limb may also help reduce swelling formation.

If you experience severe pain and swelling at the time of your injury, consult your doctor immediately.

Treatment Options

Treatments for golfer’s elbow depend on the severity of the injury. Mild golfer’s elbow may be treated with rest, ice, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), exercises, and physiotherapy. Your doctor may recommend an elbow brace. Steroid injections may be done for more severe golfer’s elbow.

In most cases, surgery is not necessary. However, if your symptoms remain unresolved in spite of conservative treatments, your doctor may recommend surgery. The type of surgery that you will undergo depends on several factors including your overall health, your age, and severity of your injury. Your doctor will discuss with you about the surgery that you will have.

Physiotherapy for Golfer’s Elbow

Physiotherapy will be able to help you relieve your golfer’s elbow symptoms. In addition your personal physiotherapist will teach you several kinds of exercises to help get you back to your original activities as fast and safely possible.

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