Golfer’s elbow is the inflammation of the tendons that attach your forearm muscles to the bone inside your elbow. We use these tendons to move our wrist. Movements like stretching, twisting, grasping, and lifting are movements that can put a strain on this tendon causing pain. Athletes who play sports like golf, weightlifting, or sports where throwing is required like shot put are at an increased risk of having a golfer’s elbow. Manual workers in jobs like painting, hammering, auto worker, cooks, or chopping wood are also at an increased risk. Golfer’s elbow are caused from overuse and incorrect use of muscles. The overuse and incorrect use of muscles leads to the wear and tear and small injuries to the tendons.
Less than 1% of Americans get golfer’s elbow. Patients with golfer’s elbows are generally between the ages of 40 and 60 years old.
Nonsurgical Treatment Options for Golfer’s Elbow
The best thing you can do to avoid getting a golfer’s elbow is to strengthen your forearm muscles and maintain strength even throughout the off-season. Several exercises to strengthen your forearm.
- Squeeze a tennis ball. Set a timer for five minutes and squeeze an old tennis ball with one hand. Then do it again with your other hand.
- Wrist curl. Using a light weight dumbbell, slowly lower the weight to the tips of your fingers and then curl the weight back up into your palm.
Typically these symptoms go away after a few months without any special treatment. However, here’s a few reminders.
- Rest. Remember to rest the joint. This may mean not playing a sport or doing a hobby as frequently in order to give your body time to recover.
- Stretch. Before any large activities remember to stretch.
- Avoid Activities. Avoid any activities that cause these symptoms to flare up. This may mean taking a break from the sport you play.
- Anti-inflammatory Medication. Take an anti-inflammatory to relieve the pain and inflammation.
- Steroid Injection. If the options above don’t work it may be suggested to use a steroid (powerful anti-inflammatory) to relieve the symptoms for a while.