Arizona Pain and Spine Institute offers pain management services for treating golfers elbow.
What is Golfer’s Elbow
Golfer’s elbow is also known by its medical term, medial epicondylitis. This condition is characterized by pain and inflammation in the elbow, particularly in the tendon that connects the forearm and the elbow. The pain is felt most in the bone inside the elbow, which usually radiates to the forearm.
This condition is often confused with tennis elbow. While they are both tendinitis, they have minor differences. Golfer’s elbow is less common than tennis elbow. In the former, the pain and damage are on the inside of the tendons, while in the latter, the damage is on the tendons outside the elbow.
Because of its name, many people think that the condition is only caused by playing golf. It is true that it is common among golfers, but it is not limited to that. In fact, people may get it fro other sports as well such as baseball, bowling and tennis, and even from repetitive hand, wrist and forearm motions.
What are the Symptoms
The most common symptom of golfer’s elbow is pain on the inner side of the elbow. The pain worsens with certain motions and positions and may radiate along the inside of the forearm. Aside from the pain, the condition is also characterized by tenderness and stiffness in the elbow, as well as weakness, numbness or tingling sensation in the elbow, hands and wrists.
What are the Causes
The condition is caused by damage to the tendons and muscles in the elbow. This damage is commonly caused by repeated and excess stress. Several factors contribute to the development of golfer’s elbow. These include forceful motions, improper throwing, lifting and hitting, especially when the person is not properly conditioned. Golf, racket sports, throwing sports and weight training can sometimes lead to the condition. If done repeatedly for days, the following activities can cause golfer’s elbow: chopping wood, raking, hammering and the like.
What are the Treatment Options
The treatment options depend on the severity of the condition and the symptoms. The first and most important thing to do when you have golfer’s elbow is to rest. Avoiding strenuous activities and repetitive motions of the arm, elbow, and hand is highly advised. Any activity may just make the condition worse. During your rest, it would also be helpful if you apply ice on the affected area. Ice the area for about 15 to 20 minutes for at least three times a day. Do this for several days. Giving your elbow a soft and light massage may also help relieve the pain.
Other treatment options for golfer’s elbow include the following:
Over-the-counter pain reliever
Pain relievers may not totally treat the condition. But they help in alleviating the pain and making things tolerable and a bit better. Some of the common pain meds you can take are ibuprofen, naproxen and acetaminophen.
Rest is important. To maximize this, you need to wear a brace. This will protect your elbow and arm from forceful motions. The brace will also reduce the strain in the affected tendon and muscles.
Stretching and strengthening exercises.
When you’ve had enough rest, you may try some physical therapy and exercises. Stretching and strengthening exercises will help lengthen the tendon and reduce the irritation in the tendon. Just make sure that the exercises are recommended and approved by the professionals.
Rest the elbow tendons.
Rest your elbow tendons by reducing the load. You can do this better by using a splint or wrapping your elbow with an elastic bandage. When the pain is gone, you can then gradually return to your normal activities.
Surgery and other treatments.
In rare cases, the doctor may require surgery. This is usually opted for when the symptoms don’t respond to the treatments even after 12 months. The good thing is that there are surgeries now that are minimally invasive. Another treatment option is corticosteroid injections
Proper diagnosis and treatment must be done only by professionals. This is to ensure fast, safe and appropriate results. We at AZ Pain and Spine Institute can treat various pain conditions using well-researched, highly effective and advanced methods and techniques. When it comes to pain, especially if it’s chronic, you must immediately see a pain specialist.
If you have golfer’s elbow, you can count on our pain specialists. Make an appointment with us today.