Golfer’s elbow, medically known as medial epicondylitis, is a painful condition that affects the tendons connecting the forearm and elbow. This ailment frequently impacts athletes, musicians, and others whose work involves doing repetitive arm motions for more than two hours a day. Pitchers, painters, tennis players, and bowlers are at an elevated risk of the injury, too. Patients with golfer’s elbow experience pain on the inner side of the elbow, and this may radiate along the inside of the forearm. The elbow may become very stiff, and patients may be unable to make a fist without pain. Some patients may feel their arms and hands are weaker than normal, and they may also have tingling sensations in the fingers, particularly in the ring and little fingers. Golfer’s elbow can be caused by overuse, improper form, poor equipment, and inadequate rest. To diagnose this condition, the doctor will gently press on areas of the patient’s hand, wrist, forearm, elbow, and shoulder, and they will check the patient’s range of motion. In some cases, an x-ray might be necessary, and patients with severe symptoms may need more advanced imaging studies for a comprehensive evaluation.
The steps described below are routinely recommended by doctors for the prevention and treatment of golfer’s elbow.
Stretch And Strengthening Exercises
Stretch and strengthening exercises can help relieve the stiffness and pain associated with golfer’s elbow. Orthopedists and physical therapists can teach patients the specific exercises most appropriate for their symptoms. Patients who suspect they may have golfer’s elbow should always ask for professional advice before doing any stretches or strengthening exercises with their arms. Doing the wrong exercises, using the improper technique, or doing too many repetitions can cause additional damage and delay recovery. Most exercises for golfer’s elbow involve flexing the wrist and fingers, and elastic bands are sometimes used for certain stretches. Some stretches may be slightly uncomfortable. To reduce the pain of any exercise, patients may wish to gently massage the forearm or elbow during the stretch. Exercises that progressively load the tendon are especially effective for golfer’s elbow, and these can be demonstrated by a physical therapist. Patients who experience increasing pain after doing these exercises for a few days could have a more serious condition, and they should see an orthopedist for a thorough evaluation.
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