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WHAT IS GOLFER'S ELBOW?

02/01/2012 in   () comments

How to self diagnose possible symptoms of Golfer''s Elbow.

John T. Knight M.D.
Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon

Golfer’s elbow ,”medial epicondylitis”, occurs at the inside of the elbow where microtears develop at the tip of the funny bone where the finger and wrist flex or muscles originate from. This is similar to tennis elbow which occurs on the outside of the elbow. Repeated gripping and wrist movement leads to muscle tears and inflammation and pain develop. This can occur not only with golf but also other racquet sports and throwing sports as well as various occupations that require repetitive finger, wrist and elbow movement.

Symptoms of golfer’s elbow include pain with picking up objects with the palm up, grasping a club or racquet, opening a jar or shaking hands. Numbness or tingling, stiffness and weakness also may occur.

X-ray’s are helpful to determine if there is arthritis of the elbow or associated bone spurs. MRIs will show if a significant tear is present.

Treatment first involves resting and icing the elbow. NSAIDs are helpful in relieving pain and inflammation. Stretching and strengthening in therapy are helpful. If you have to lift anything, do it in a palm down position. A forearm band is helpful to take the tension off the injured muscle.

Once your symptoms begin to subside, you can slowly begin to transition back to your sport. It is important to seek guidance from an instructor to modify your swing if necessary to prevent a recurrence.