Golfers elbow is also called medial epicondylitis.
It is an inflammation of the elbow in ways similar to tennis elbow. The problem is caused by inflammation of the tendons at the end of the muscles of the elbow that attach to bones. The pain caused by golfers elbow is usually at the elbow joint on the inner aspect of the arm, it also causes shooting pain down the forearm when holding or gripping objects. Golfers elbow is a repetitive stress injury. So what do you do to get rid of the pain and get back in the swing of your golf game? There are several ways to improve your golfer’s elbow and get back in the swing of things. Most of them are common sense. RICE, not the kind you eat though.
In medical circles, RICE stands for rest, ice, compression and elevation. You do not do all these things at once though. Put your golf game on hold until you are pain-free. Apply ice packs to the affected area for 15-20 minutes at a time; you can also massage the inner part of your elbow with ice for a few minutes once or twice a day. Keep the affected area elevated when you can to lessen any swelling, and apply an ace bandage to your elbow when you are not icing it. Check it frequently though and make sure it is not too tight.
Your next line of defense simply put is drugs.
You can use these in combination with RICE. There are many over the counter pain relievers available that should provide some relief. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is a good place to start. If you do not get any relief from acetaminophen move on to ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve). Make sure to take the ibuprofen with food to make sure it does not cause you any stomach upset. If these over the counter suggestions do not work, ask your doctor to prescribe you something a little stronger. Your doctor may also consider a cortisone injection to reduce your pain and swelling.
Another thing you can do to relieve your golfer’s elbow is stretch and strengthen the elbow muscles and tendons. Your doctor or physical therapist can show you exercises you can do. Just make sure that when your pain stops to return to you normal activities, and golf game, slowly.
All three of the above suggestions should help you get through about of golfers elbow. After you are pain-free, you might also want to review your form and swing with a professional so you can make adjustments as needed to your game. This way you will not have a second run-in with medial epicondylitis.