Golfer’s Elbow: Causes and Treatments

Nothing can ruin a Saturday morning game of golf like a stiff and aching elbow. Golfer’s elbow, aptly named due to the high chance of acquiring the tendon-based injury while playing the sport, affects both men and women inside and outside of the golf world. A close cousin to tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow tends to target anyone who uses that specific region of the body, whether it be baseball players, softball players, construction workers, yard maintenance workers, or even painters and artists.
Some pain is normal and even expected from any form of active moment. However, if you are experiencing lasting effects on the inside of your elbow or pain radiating up and down your arm, you should contact a local orthopedic surgeon. Often, treatments are quick and painless and will allow you to resume your everyday life within a matter of days.

2 Main Causes of Golfer’s Elbow

Characterized by pain and tenderness alongside the inner part of your elbow, golfer’s elbow typically stems from two main causes. The tendonitis injury does not necessarily reveal itself all at once, meaning you can slowly feel the effects begin to build over time. Generally, the two causes of golfer’s elbow include the following: 

Lack of Stretching

The older you get, the more stretching you require. Golfer’s elbow can result from improper stretching before physical activity, such as golfing, tennis, or anything that involves your elbow, forearm, wrist, and fingers. Small stretches and warmups can help relax the tendons and prevent them from being easily injured. 

Additionally, you are especially at risk for golfer’s elbow if you are over the age of 40, regularly smoke, or are overweight. 

Repeated Stress

Even with proper stretching and warmups, repeated or excess stress on the tendons in your arm and elbow can result in a tendonitis injury. This continuous wear and tear can result in severe stiffness, sometimes to the point where the affected cannot form a fist with their fingers. The inside of your elbow may range from a dull ache to a tingling, numb sensation and feelings of weakness are often experienced. 

How Is Golfer’s Elbow Treated?

The best form of treatment is prevention. If you are beginning to feel minor aches, you can either rest or employ a brace or ice to ease the tension. However, if you are already noticeably injured, it is vital to reach out to an orthopedic specialist as soon as you can. It is likely, after a thorough examination, they will begin conservative treatment options, such as: 

  • Elbow brace
  • Ice treatments
  • Over-the-counter pain medications, like ibuprofen and acetaminophen
  • Recommended professional stretches

If six months have passed and the pain remains, your specialist may recommend surgery. The procedure is relatively quick and painless and involves removing a portion of the injured tendon and replacing it with a healthy donor tendon.

Speak With a Dedicated Orthopedic Specialist Today

Elbow and wrist pain can be debilitating and make doing everyday tasks harder than they should be. If you are currently navigating the symptoms of golfer’s elbow and not seeing any noticeable progress, a dedicated orthopedic specialist from NJ Spine & Orthopedic can help you today. 

Our team is highly trained and qualified to assess, diagnose, and treat your tendonitis injury and pain. We will create a tailored treatment plan specifically for you. If surgery is the only route to a happy and healthy future, our doctors are trained in minimally-invasive techniques that are sure to provide a quick and painless experience. To speak with a representative today, please call our office at (866) 553-0612 or fill out our contact form.

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