Golfer’s Elbow (Medial Epicondylitis)
You may have heard the term, “golfer’s elbow,” which refers to a common, painful medical condition that can affect athletes and non-athletes alike. Also known as medial epicondylitis, golfer’s elbow occurs on the inside of the elbow.
What Causes Golfer’s Elbow?
Golfer’s elbow occurs from trauma or overuse. Repeated throwing-related activities and sports or gripping can increase your risk of developing golfer’s elbow. In fact, any repetitious or forceful activities that involve the fingers or wrist can cause this condition.
What Are the Symptoms of Golfer’s Elbow?
Golfer’s elbow may cause you to feel pain in the inner portion of your elbow, commonly referred to as your “funny bone.” You may experience pain through common movements, such as tightening your fist. In addition to pain, you may experience numbness, tingling, or weakness in your hand.
What Are the Long-Term Effects of Golfer’s Elbow?
If golfer’s elbow goes untreated, the condition can worsen over time. This may cause you to experience chronic pain, limited range of motion, or a weakened grip. You should seek medical attention for golfer’s elbow if your pain is severe or persistent. In any case, you should allow your injury to rest until you can consult with a medical professional.
What Are Some Common Golfer’s Elbow Treatments?
Several treatment paths exist for golfer’s elbow. Often, your doctor may recommend a combination of rest, physical therapy, and strengthening and stretching activities. Exercises may include the following activities:
- Resisted wrist extension: This exercise requires you to hold a lightweight dumbbell as you lower and raise your hand. Your palm faces downward and hangs over a flat surface as you perform this exercise.
- Resisted wrist flexion: This exercise is the same as the resisted wrist extension, only your palm faces upward.
- Isometric wrist strengthening: This type of strengthening calls for performing flexion and extension exercises. You lower and raise your wrist with your palm facing either up or down, using your hand for resistance.
- Golfer’s elbow stretch: This stretch requires you to hold your arm out straight with your palm facing upward. You then pull your fingers and wrist down toward your body.
The previous exercises can help improve your symptoms, strengthen your tendons, and decrease pain. Still, you may require additional treatments, which your doctor may recommend, such as the following:
- Athletic taping: Athletic taping helps ease strain on the affected area. Therefore, your medical professional may apply it.
- A brace: Your doctor may also recommend wearing a compression brace on your elbow, which can reduce strain, especially if you plan to continue the activity that caused your condition.
- Ice pack or heating pad: Your health care professional may recommend applying ice or heat, or a combination of both, to reduce inflammation and pain.
- Anti-Inflammatory medication: Your doctor may recommend an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication to decrease your pain.
- Platelet-rich plasma therapy: Your doctor may recommend this therapy, which focuses on centrifuging your blood and concentrating the platelets to induce faster healing.
- Cortisone injections: Your doctor may administer an injection to lessen the effects of your condition.
Surgery. In severe cases, your doctor may recommend surgery.
Schedule an Appointment at the Hand Center of Louisiana
If you think you are suffering from golfer’s elbow, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. At the Hand Center of Louisiana, our highly trained physicians and staff are experienced in treating this common condition and can evaluate and develop the appropriate treatment path for you.