Also known as medial epicondylitis, golfer’s elbow occurs when the tendons that attach the forearm muscles to the inside of the bone at the elbow become inflamed. Similar to tennis elbow, this inflammation occurs with repetitive motion and overuse.
Causes and risk factors
- Repetition of movement
- Overuse of the muscle
- Weakness of the area
- Hurried golf swing
- Muscle spasm
- Muscle weakness
Diagnosis and treatment
Most cases of golfer’s elbow can be treated without surgery with rest, ice, compression, and elevation. In addition, consider modifying your grip and/or the use of a larger grip, if your symptoms are stemming from a racquet sport or golf. If your symptoms do not respond after six to twelve months of nonsurgical golfer’s elbow treatments, your doctor may recommend surgery.
Nonsurgical treatment options include:
- Short period of rest
- Keep your elbow moving to prevent stiffness
- Avoid aggravating activities such as lifting/forceful gripping
- Short term nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAID’s)
- Massage to painful area to increase blood flow and desensitize
- Stretching exercises to maintain flexibility of the elbow and wrist
- Topical anti-inflammatory/pain relief creams
- Compressive elbow wrap
- Wrist brace
- Physical therapy
The vast majority of cases will resolve with this type of treatment, but symptoms may last for 6 – 12 months or longer.