Golfer’s Elbow Treatment in Lafayette, LA, Can Help You Get Back on the Green
Golfer’s elbow, or medial epicondylitis, is an overuse injury that causes painful inflammation at the point where the tendons of the forearm muscles attach to the bony bump on the inside of the elbow. Similar to tennis elbow, which affects the outside of the elbow, golfer’s elbow results from damage to the muscles and tendons that control the wrist and fingers. Usually, the damage is caused by repetitive stress from forceful wrist and finger motions, such as those involved in golfing, raking, painting, using a screwdriver, throwing a ball, or lifting a heavy object. As such, medial epicondylitis is not limited to golfers.
How Is Golfer’s Elbow Treated?
Rest is usually a key component of golfer’s elbow treatment. To prevent the condition from progressing, it is important to avoid repetitive wrist and finger motions until the pain improves. In the meantime, the following therapies may be helpful:
- Icing the affected area – An ice pack can be applied to the inner elbow 3-4 times a day for 15-20 minutes at a time. It may also be beneficial to massage the inner elbow with ice.
- Bracing – A physician may suggest a counterforce brace, which can be worn to reduce tendon and muscle strain in the affected arm.
- Physical therapy – A physician or physical therapist can recommend appropriate stretching and strengthening exercises. For instance, progressive loading of the affected tendon can be particularly effective for treating golfer’s elbow.
- Medication – An over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as ibuprofen can help relieve painful inflammation.
- Injection – A cortisone injection may give relief of the pain from golfer’s elbow.
- Surgery – Surgical treatment is usually unnecessary for golfer’s elbow, but it may be considered to address very severe or persistent pain.
In general, once the pain improves, a gradual return to regular activity is best. Many people begin by practicing the wrist and finger motions involved in their sport or activity. For instance, a golf instructor can assess a golf swing to confirm that the technique is correct or suggest adjustments if needed.
Consult With an Orthopedic Specialist in Lafayette
Peter D. Vizzi, MD, is a board-certified surgeon and avid athlete who practices in Lafayette, Louisiana. Dr. Vizzi treats golfer’s elbow and other hand, wrist, and elbow conditions using the most conservative approach possible. Request a consultation with Dr. Vizzi today.