Affecting tendons of the forearm, golfer’s elbow is so-named because the repetitious movements associated with golf frequently contribute to the development of the condition. Occurring at the point where the bony bump on the elbow attaches to the forearm, golfer’s elbow can cause varying degrees of discomfort. A referral to an orthopedic specialist may be made if initial treatments fail to provide substantial relief or if your primary care physician suspects another condition.
Who Gets Golfer’s Elbow?
Similar to tennis elbow, which affects the outside portion of the forearm, golfer’s elbow causes pain along the inner forearm. Not limited to golfers, the condition can develop in anybody who makes repeated forearm movements. Often progressive in nature, meaning symptoms can worsen over time, golfer’s elbow may also be a work-related injury if your occupation involves repeated elbow and arm movements. Even certain repetitious movements made while exercising each day may cause the condition to develop.
Signs You May Have Golfer’s Elbow
Pain and tenderness of the inner portion of your elbow, lingering discomfort along your forearm, and pain that becomes more severe with movement are some of the common symptoms associated with golfer’s elbow. Muscle stiffness and weakness extending to the wrists and hands may also occur with the condition. Severe cases may include radiating numbness and tingling that extends to the wrists and fingers due to nerve compression.
Golfer’s Elbow Treatments
Most of the time, some initial rest, over-the-counter pain relievers, and the application of ice packs for 15-20 minute periods throughout the day can ease the pain of a mild case of golfer’s elbow. If the pain persists, an orthopedic specialist can assess the condition, a process often involving image testing to determine the extent of the soft tissue damage. A counter force brace may need to be worn on the affected arm to minimize movement. Surgery is rarely necessary to treat golfer’s elbow. An orthopedic surgeon in Silicon Valley also checks for other potential issues with the affected area.
An orthopedic specialist does more than recommend treatments for conditions like golfer’s elbow. Advice is often given on how to prevent future injuries after the injury has been accurately diagnosed and treated to the point where pain is either eliminated or significantly reduced. Preventative care that includes appropriate modification of activities and proactive precautions such as strengthening the muscles supporting the affected area is an important part of most orthopedic treatment plans.