How to Treat Golfer's Elbow

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Golfer’s elbow is a form of tendonitis found on the inside portion of the elbow. Golfers often develop golfer’s elbow from doing the same action, such as swinging golf clubs, over and over again. Signs that you have golfer’s elbow include difficulty bending the elbow or gripping anything, a feeling of tiredness or weakness in the wrists or painful sensations on the inside part of the elbow. You can continue to play golf after getting treatment for golfer’s elbow, but you have to take steps to get rid of your symptoms before starting to play golf again.

Things You'll Need

  • Ice packs
  • Cloth
  • Brace or sling
  • Cortisone shot
  • Pain medication
  • Rest your elbow, refraining from the activities that have caused you to develop golfer's elbow, especially swinging a club. Wait until after your symptoms have cleared up to start playing golf again so you do not harm your elbow further. Ohio Health Online suggests trying to avoid other activities that could cause your condition to worsen, such as shaking hands, opening a door or lifting objects with your wrist turned downward.

  • Put one or more ice packs on the area of your elbow where you feel pain every day until your symptoms subside. Put pieces of cloth over the ice packs, then place them on the designated areas for about 15 to 20 minutes at a time, according to the Mayo Clinic.

  • Take aspirin or pain medications, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, to relieve the pain in your elbow. Only use medications as needed to avoid harming your stomach and gastrointestinal tract. If pain medications do not work, go to your doctor’s office to get a cortisone shot, which often can help reduce your pain more quickly than over-the-counter drugs.

  • Keep your elbow in a brace or a sling to keep it mobilized while you are healing. Have the sling or brace on at all times or as much as possible so you do not inadvertently move your elbow, which could cause further pain or injury.

  • Perform stretching exercises to strengthen your elbow as designated by your physician. Do not start stretching exercises until the inflammation in your elbow has subsidized and your symptoms are gone. Your doctor might have you do occupational or physical therapy exercises regularly to strengthen your muscles before beginning to golf again. Rest your arm, elbow or wrist after doing reps so you don’t overexert yourself.

  • Mimic the motions of swinging a golf club to get your arm used to the movements before playing golf again.

Tips & Warnings

  • Take steps to avoid getting golfer’s elbow, such as gripping a tennis ball to build up your hand and wrist muscles, doing wrist curl exercises to strengthen your wrist, putting a heating pad on your elbow, stretching before swinging a golf club and making sure you have a correct stance so you do not put too much pressure on your wrists or hands.
  • If you do not rest your elbow when you develop golfer’s elbow, you could develop chronic golfer’s elbow, which could cause you to have pain in your elbow for an extended period of time, start to have trouble moving your elbow, wrist or hand or begin to have trouble flexing your elbow because your elbow is in a stationary position.

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