A doctor can identify golfer’s elbow based on a physical exam and your own medical history. This post will go over what causes golfer’s elbow and how to heal any discomfort this may cause.
What Is Golfer’s Elbow?
A form of tendonitis, golfer’s elbow causes pain and inflammation in the tendons which connect the forearm to the elbow. The pain will center around the bony bump on the inside of your elbow and may also be felt in the forearm. The medical term for golfer’s elbow is medial epicondylitis.
While golfer’s elbow isn’t as well known as tennis elbow, the two lingering injuries do share some similarities. Both are forms of elbow tendonitis. Yet, tennis elbow stems from damage to tendons on the outside of the elbow, while golfer’s elbow occurs on the inside. Both ailments tend to get better with rest, according to WebMD.
Golfer’s Elbow Symptoms
Pain associated with golfer’s elbow can either happen instantly or slowly over time.
You may have golfer’s elbow if you are experiencing the following symptoms:
- Elbow stiffness.
- Pain and tenderness on the inside of your elbow and forearm.
- Pain caused by certain movements, such as making a fist.
- Hand and wrist weakness.
- Numbness or tingling sensations in your fingers.
Golfer’s Elbow Causes
This ailment is usually caused by overusing muscles in your forearm. These muscles are engaged to grip, flex and rotate your wrist. Repeating these motions can cause pulls or tears in the tendons. This means you do not have to be a golfer to suffer from golfer’s elbow.
Some common causes of golfer’s elbow include:
- Repetitive movements.
- Weight training.
- Playing sports that rely on constant throwing motions.
Ways To Heal Golfer’s Elbow
The easiest way to heal and treat golfer’s elbow is by avoiding any activity that can cause pain. While that may be easier said than done, a few other ways to treat golfer’s elbow are listed below.
Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen (Motrin IB, Advil, etc), acetaminophen (Tylenol, etc) and naproxen sodium (Aleve) can help fight issues caused by golfer’s elbow. A newer treatment being used is platelet-rich plasma. This treatment involves drawing a little bit of blood and injecting a concentrated amount of platelets into the sore area. Researchers continue to look at and evaluate the effectiveness of this treatment.
Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy (PEMF) is a type of therapy that nurtures cellular communication. This therapy will in turn enhance self-healing and overall wellness. Cellular communication, which is crucial for the body’s adaptation/regulation processes, helps maintain overall health. This will also help dealing with pain caused by golfer’s elbow. Every organ in the body has its own bio-electromagnetic field, and each cell in the body will communicate through electromagnetic signals or fields. This occurs at a rate of trillions of chemical reactions per second.
Whenever these communication exchanges are blocked or disrupted, cells, organs and tissues can be compromised. Put simply, PEMF is used to energize the cells which make up all the tissues like tendons and ligaments in the body. PEMF will speed up body’s ability to both repair and recover.
There are a few simple ways to lessen the pain brought on by golfer’s elbow in the comfort of your own home. Rest, for example, is the best way to heal. Applying ice packs to the area can work, as well. Try to apply ice 15-20 minutes at a time, three to four times per day for a week or so. Try to constantly stretch the affected area, as this will help to strengthen it overall.
Surgery is seldom necessary and should be seen as a last resort with golfer’s elbow. However, if your symptoms do not go away after 6-12 months, it may be time to consider surgery. Most individuals dealing with this soreness can recover with the help of ice, pain relievers and plenty of rest.
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