Golfer's elbow is a type of an injury that happens on the inner tendons of the elbow causing pain on the inner side of the elbow and hand. The damage is caused to the muscles and tendons that control the wrist and fingers. It occurs in Golf players, tennis players and athletes who use wrists in their sports along with people who are involved in work which requires them to use their fingers and wrist and clench them frequently. With rest and appropriate treatment golfer's elbow gets cured and a person can resume their activities.
Golfer's elbow is also called as medical Epicondylitis or throwers elbow or little league elbow.
How Long Does Golfer's Elbow Take to Heal?
Golfer's elbow heals well with conservative treatment and exercises when followed correctly. It usually takes around 3-6 months to attain complete recovery from Golfer's Elbow. However, if the pain still persists, a surgery might be required to get relief from symptoms.
Ways to Fix Golfer's Elbow
One should start with the treatment for golfer's elbow as fast as possible. The treatment includes:
Rest and Protection
One should not perform any strenuous activities when s/he is suffering from Golfer's elbow till the pain is present. One needs to give enough rest to the elbow and should protect it from further injury in order to heal it fast.
Cold compression by means ice pack should be taken for 15- 20 minutes. It should be done for 3-4 times in a day to fix Golfer's Elbow.
Use of a Brace
One can use counterforce brace on the affected arm which helps to reduce strain on the tendons and muscles and help Golfer's Elbow heal quickly.
Reduce Load on the Elbow
One should not perform any strenuous activities and should give support to the golfer's elbow by wearing a splint.
Taking a Pain Killer
Such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen to manage pain and inflammation associate with Golfer's Elbow.
These will include different types of exercises for muscle/tendon reconditioning. It includes stretching and gradual strengthening of the flexor-pronator muscles. One needs to perform isometrics and then progress to eccentric exercises to improve the wide range of motions.
In some cases, physiotherapist may use ultrasound or laser treatment to treat the golfer's elbow.
Sports Massage to Fix Golfer's Elbow
These techniques may be applied to reduce the strain caused to the tendons and connecting muscles and to improve their functioning.
This injection is given when conservative methods to managing pain in golfer's elbow are not very effective.
Surgery to Fix Golfer's Elbow
In some cases, epicondylar debridement surgery may be effective to relieve the symptoms of golfer's elbow and fix it.
After elbow recovery one should return gradually to their activities. Moreover, one should not be engaged for prolonged time in their activities since this may cause injury to the elbow once more.
Prevention of Golfer's Elbow
The following are some of the steps to prevent golfer's elbow:
- One should perform simple exercises to help strengthen the forearm muscles. For example: use light weights or squeeze a tennis ball.
- One should form stretching exercises by walking or jogging to warm up for few minutes.
- Before performing any exercises, one should check with the physiotherapist the weight to be used to avoid overload on the muscles.
- One should use a right equipment or badminton, tennis racket or golf clubs so that it allows the player to have a firm grip and avoid golfer's elbow.
- One should lift things properly including the free weights by keeping the wrist rigid and stable to reduce the force on the elbow.
- Finally one should not overuse the elbow and should give it an appropriate and sufficient rest before resuming the activity.
Golfer's elbow is an injury that occurs in the golfers, throwers and other sport players including people who overuse their forearm. Although, a number of treatments are advised, it is observed that taking sufficient rest, protection and ice application to the injured elbow helps in recovery of the elbow. Further, taking protection during activities will prevent its recurrence.