You are playing your favorite sport. Your elbow problem is really starting to affect your game. What is it? What should you do?
Golfer’s elbow and tennis elbow are fairly common conditions. While the two are similar forms of tendinitis, they have distinct differences. In Part I of 2, we take a closer look at golfer’s elbow and how to treat it.
Golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis) is an overuse injury affecting the inside of the elbow and forearm tendons. (Tendons attach muscles to bones.) It is the less common cousin of tennis elbow. Pain can be felt when gripping and flexing the wrist… moving the palm inward towards the forearm.
Repetitive motions can cause golfer’s elbow such as swinging a golf club or pitching a baseball. (Pitcher’s elbow and golfer’s elbow are the same conditions.) The Mayo Clinic reports painting, raking, hammering, chopping wood, using a computer, doing assembly-line work, and cooking can also lead to the condition.
Doctors often treat golfers elbow with the following:
- Rest – stop the pain causing activity
- Ice – up to 20 minutes per session, several times per day
- Anti-inflammatory medicine
- Stretching exercises
- Strengthening exercises
Forearm strengthening exercises may include:
- Squeezing a tennis ball
- Using a light dumbbell for wrist curling exercises
- Palm facing up for wrist flexion exercises
- Palm facing down for wrist extension exercises
In severe cases, doctors may treat golfers elbow with cortisone shots or even surgery.
Treat your golfer’s elbow and get back in the swing of things! Next week we examine tennis elbow.