How to treat golfer’s elbow

Golfer’s elbow is a condition characterized by pain in the inner or medial side of the elbow. The pain spreads to the forearm and the wrist. When touching the elbow, a bony prominence can be felt in the inner side where pain can be felt.

Golfer’s elbow also develops on the outside area of the elbow. Other people overusing their wrist or clenching the fingers can also develop the condition. People over 30 years of age are susceptible to this condition.

Causes of golfer’s elbow

  • Improper way of gripping or swinging of clubs can place significant stress on the tendons and muscles.
  • Excessive top spin causes pain and using a racket that is too small or too heavy can cause injury.
  • Improper way of pitching when playing baseball or softball
  • Not using the proper technique in lifting weights such as curling the wrist when performing biceps exercise.
  • Activities that requires repeated bending and straightening of the elbow

Symptoms

Golfer's elbow

Pain and tenderness can be felt on the inner side of the elbow and spreads to the forearm.

  • The elbow becomes stiff and pain can be felt when making a fist.
  • Pain and tenderness can be felt on the inner side of the elbow and spreads to the forearm.
  • Pain becomes worse with movements that includes golf club swinging, squeezing or pitching a ball, rotating a doorknob, raising weights, bending the wrist, shaking hands and picking up an object with the palms down
  • Weakness of the hands and wrist
  • Numbness and tingling sensation in one or more fingers and usually it is the ring and the little fingers.

Treatment

  • Take plenty of rest. Avoid playing sports and other repetitive activities that makes the condition worse.
  • Apply an ice pack on the affected area for at least 15-20 minutes at a time for 3-4 times for several days. Avoid placing the ice pack directly on the skin.
  • Gently massage the inner part using ice for at least 5 minutes at a time at 2-3 times every day.
  • Take the prescribed over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen, naproxen or acetaminophen to lessen the pain and inflammation.
  • Use a brace for the arm to prevent unnecessary movements and lessen strain placed on the muscles and tendons.
  • Seek the help of a physical therapist for some stretching and strengthening rehabilitation exercises in treating chronic tendon irritation.
  • Wrap the affected elbow using an elastic bandage or use a splint to lessen the load on the tendons. When the pain has settled, gradually start performing usual activities.

Tips

  • Warm up the muscles by walking or jogging for a few minutes and perform gentle stretches before starting a game.
  • Use the right equipment when playing sports
  • Use the proper techniques in lifting anything including free weights
  • Avoid overusing the elbow and take a rest when there is pain.

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