Jan 28

Golfer’s Elbow – Treatment and Prevention

How to Deal With Golfer’s Elbow

Golfer’s elbow is a common injury among golfers.  For those that suffer from the injury, there are a few options regarding treatment.  Visiting a doctor should be a priority to seek medical expertise.  Self treatment includes rest and ice combined with light wrist flexion exercises.

Pain on the inside of the elbow is associated from golfer’s elbow while pain on the outside is known as tennis elbow.

Treatment

Anti-inflammatory medications are regularly used to control pain and inflammation.  Applying ice or heat is also recommended to help control pain and inflammation.  Cortisone injections are sometimes used in addition to other treatments.

Stretching and exercises are beneficial in controlling the symptoms of golfer’s elbow.  Wait until the area is healed before beginning any exercise program.  Experiencing pain will potentially prolong the recovery time.

Friction therapy and deep massage are also effective.  This option involves an individual applying pressure to a specific area of the arm followed by a massage to the upper arm and forearm to maximize blood circulation.  If there is a tingling sensation down the forearm switch the location due to hitting a nerve.

Prevention

One of the best ways to avoid golfer’s elbow is to strengthen the forearm muscles and try to minimize the shock from the club hitting the turf.  The following exercises will help build forearm muscles and avoid golfer’s elbow.

Squeeze a ball.  This is a simple exercise that will strengthen forearm muscles.  Perform the exercise for a few minutes and switch hands.  Any small object such as a tennis ball or even a stress reliever is effective for this forearm exercise.  This is an easy exercise that can be done while sitting on the couch.

Wrist curls are commonly used to strengthen the forearm.  Use a lightweight dumbbell and lower the dumbbell to the end of your fingers and then curl the weight back to your palm.  Continue lifting the dumbbell toward the wrist.  Reverse the wrist curls for an additional exercise.  Again, use a light dumbbell.  Extend your arm forward with your palm down and the dumbbell in your hand.  Using your wrist, lift the weight up and down.  Place your other hand on the arm performing the reverse wrist curl for support.  Avoid moving your arm during the exercise.

Golf Lessons

Evaluate your golf swing.  Schedule an appointment with a golf professional to determine if your equipment or swing is the cause of golfer’s elbow.  Many amateurs create unnecessary movements throughout their swing, which could cause an overuse injury.  Changing the motion you swing the club could help prevent a future injury such as golfer’s elbow or another more serious injury waiting to happen.

Matt Keller, PGA                                                                                                                                                           keller@pga.com

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