A painful condition, Golfer’s elbow (Medial Epicondylitis) involves microtears and inflammation in the tendons attached to the medial epicondyle.
What is the cause of Golfer’s Elbow?
• Chronic, repetitive muscular stress in the forearm. Sports activities involved in tennis, badminton, squash often subjects hands to this type of stress.
• A sudden strain experienced at the forearm leading to tendon tears
• Poor physical strength and inadequate warming up may make the tendons susceptible to easy damage.
Symptoms of Golfer’s Elbow:
• A sudden or gradually manifesting elbow pain.
• Pain experienced towards the inner side of the elbow during activity.
• Spread of pain to other areas of the hand.
• Pain increases when trying to grip objects.
Diagnosis of Golfer’s Elbow
If you suspect a Golfer’s Elbow or experience symptoms similar to those mentioned above, it is best to visit a sports medicine doctor like the sports medicine doctor at Boulder to get immediate diagnosis and treatment.
The doctor will first obtain your medical history and then conduct a thorough physical examination of your injury. An imaging test like X-ray, CT scan, MRI, ultrasonography may be suggested by the doctor to provide conclusive proof about your injury and to get a picture of the extent of the damage.
Treatment of Golfer’s Elbow
A good physician like the sports medicine doctor at Boulder will try to resolve your Golfer’s Elbow by non-invasive procedures first and only resort to surgery in extreme cases.
The non-surgical treatment options of Golfer’s elbow involve:
• Rest to heal: The doctor might ask you to restrict all activities of your hand that might result in further damage to the tendons till they are completely healed.
• Orthotics: Splints or braces could be designed for your arm and worn to limit arm movement, till the wound heals itself.
• Ice therapy: Application of ice wrapped in a towel or tissue can help reduce inflammation associated with Golfer’s elbow and this could provide a temporary relief from pain. Ice can be applied over the injured spot four times a day for 20 minutes and this can be continued for a couple of days.
• Pain medications: Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, muscle relaxants, steroid injections, opioid painkillers,etc. may be applied to relieve the pain associated with Golfer’s elbow.
• Physical therapy: Strengthening and stretching exercises performed under the watchful eyes of a physical therapist will help you regain strength and activity in the injured arm. However, this must be performed only after the initial stage of healing is complete
• Pulsed ultrasound: The procedure uses ultrasound to systematically break down scar tissue allowing the blood to flow freely in the area, speeding up the healing process.
• Consultation with the sports doctor: Even if the injury heals completely, there remains a chance of receiving such a n injury again in the future. The sports doctor will be able to suggest changes in your movement and activities of the arm that will check such injuries in the future.
Surgery: If all the above mention treatment options yield no favorable results, then the doctor will need to resort to surgery to treat Golfer’s elbow. Surgery attempts to remove the damaged tissue from the injured area to allow regrowth of new tissue and thus healing of the wound.