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15 April 2009

Treatment of 'Golfer's elbow


The sooner you begin treatment, the sooner you'll be able to return to your usual activities.

  • Rest. Put your golf game or other repetitive activities on hold until the pain is gone. If you return to the links too soon, you may only make it worse.
  • Ice the affected area. Apply ice packs to your elbow for 15 to 20 minutes at a time, four times a day for several days. To protect your skin, wrap the ice packs in a thin towel. It may also help to massage the inner elbow with ice for five minutes at a time, two to three times a day.
  • Stretch and strengthen the affected area. Your doctor may suggest specific stretching and strengthening exercises. Physical or occupational therapy can be helpful, too.
  • Reduce the load on your elbow. Wrap your elbow with an elastic bandage or use a forearm strap.
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever. Try ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Aleve), acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or aspirin.
  • Consider other medications. If over-the-counter pain relievers aren't effective, your doctor may recommend a cortisone injection to reduce pain and swelling.
  • Gradually return to your usual activities. When you're no longer in pain, practice the arm motions of your sport or activity. Review your golf or tennis swing with an instructor and make adjustments if needed.
  • Ask your doctor when surgery is appropriate. Surgery is seldom necessary. But if your signs and symptoms don't respond to conservative treatment, surgery may be an option.

Depending on the severity of your condition, the pain may linger for several months — even if you take it easy and follow instructions to exercise your arm. Sometimes the pain returns or becomes chronic. While you're recovering, remember the importance of rest. Sneaking in a round of golf before your elbow heals won't help you feel better. It will only prolong your recovery.

Prevention of Golfer's elbow:

Make sure your equipment and technique are proper when playing golf

Avoid overusing the forearm and wrist muscles

Maintain strong and flexible forearm and wrist muscles

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