What is golfer's elbow?

Golfer's Elbow

Golfer's elbow: Overview

The pain and soreness in the inner part of your elbow is caused by a problem called golfer's elbow. Bending the wrist over and over again has hurt the tendons that attach to your inner elbow. The muscles in your forearm also may hurt. Golfer's elbow usually gets better with home treatment.

Golfer's elbow

Golfer's elbow is a term used to describe pain or soreness in the inner part of the elbow (medial epicondyle). The condition is considered an overuse injury and is seen more often in people who play golf or baseball.

The goal of treatment is to relieve pain and allow the tendon in the elbow to heal. This usually can be done with rest, the use of ice and anti-inflammatory medicines, and a physical therapy and exercise program.

What are the symptoms of golfer's elbow?

Golfer's elbow causes pain on the inside of your elbow. Your elbow may feel stiff, and it may hurt when you make a fist. Some people feel weakness and tingling in the arm and fingers. The pain may get worse when you swing a golf club, lift weights, or flex your wrist.

How is golfer's elbow treated?

Treatment usually starts with rest and rehab. If this doesn't help, your doctor may give you steroid shots. These are shots of medicine into the painful area to reduce swelling. They may help relieve pain for a short time. If other treatments don't work and you're not getting better, surgery might be an option.

How can you prevent golfer's elbow?

Golfer's elbow can be prevented. Here's how:

  • Take time to stretch the muscles in your forearm before and after your activity.
  • Be sure not to overuse your elbow.
  • If you have pain or swelling in your elbow after an activity, ice the elbow, rest it, and try not to use it until the pain is gone.

How is golfer's elbow diagnosed?

Your doctor may ask about your health. They'll then examine you by pressing on your arm. They may also move your hand and wrist in certain ways to see if that causes pain. These tests will show the doctor if your pain is in your elbow and where in the elbow it is.

How can you care for yourself when you have golfer's elbow?

Home treatment involves resting your elbow and wrist. You can also put ice or a cold pack on your elbow to help reduce swelling. If possible, keep your elbow above the level of your heart. If your doctor gave you a brace or splint, wear it as directed. Take medicines as prescribed.

What causes golfer's elbow?

Golfer's elbow is an overuse injury. These kinds of injuries are caused by putting too much stress on your muscles, joints, or other tissues without allowing them to recover. Golfer's elbow is seen most often in people who garden, bowl, play golf, or play baseball.

What is golfer's elbow?

Golfer's elbow is pain or soreness in the inner part of the elbow from movement of muscles and tendons in the arm. But it isn't just a problem with the elbow. It also involves the wrist. When the wrist moves, it affects the tendons that attach to the elbow.

Golfer's elbow: When to call

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • Your pain gets worse.
  • You cannot bend your elbow normally.
  • You have tingling, weakness, or numbness in your hand and fingers.
  • Your arm or hand is cool or pale or changes color.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • You have work problems caused by your elbow pain.
  • Your pain is not better after 2 weeks.

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The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.

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