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Golfer’s Elbow, Part 1

Golfer's elbow - medial epicondylitis is a painful condition caused by repetitive stress to the tendons of the forearm muscles attach to the bony bump on the inside of the elbow. The pain tends to spread into the forearm and wrist. This condition can result from repetitive gripping through exercise, sports, or certain occupations. Golfer's elbow can make it difficult to participate in certain sports and activities or to perform common household tasks.


This week, we will discuss the painful condition known as medial epicondylitis, aka, “Golfer’s elbow”.  Similar to tennis elbow, which occurs on the outside of the elbow, golfer’s elbow doesn't have to keep you off the course or away from your favorite activities.

Medial epicondylitis not limited to golfers. Tennis players and others who repeatedly use their wrists or clench their fingers also can develop golfer's elbow. But, with rest and appropriate treatment, you can get back into the swing of things in no time!

Physical Therapy

Recovering from Golfer’s elbow can be a long process, so it is important to begin treatment as soon as possible. Some physical therapy exercises that you can do from home could remedy your Golfer’s elbow and get you back to doing the things you love.

  • Rest. Put your golf game or other repetitive activities on hold until the pain is gone. If you return to activity too soon, you may make it worse.
  • Reduce the load on your elbow tendons. Wrap your elbow with an elastic bandage or use a splint.
  • Ice the affected area. Apply ice packs to your elbow for 15 to 20 minutes at a time, three to four times a day for several days. To protect your skin, wrap the ice packs in a thin towel. It might help to massage the inner elbow with ice for five minutes at a time, two to three times a day.
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever. Try ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), naproxen sodium (Aleve, others) or acetaminophen (Tylenol, others).
  • Use a brace. Your doctor might recommend that you wear a counter force brace on your affected arm, which might reduce tendon and muscle strain.
  • Stretch and strengthen the affected area. Your doctor may suggest stretching and strengthening exercises. Physical or occupational therapy can be helpful, too. A type of strengthening (eccentric) that lengthens the tendon of the wrist extensor muscles has been shown to be particularly effective in treating chronic tendon irritation.


Next week, we will discuss recommended exercises and advanced treatment options for Golfer’s elbow.  And remember: If you are experiencing elbow pain, don’t wait for your family physician; visit Excel Rehabilitation Services on Burnside Ave. in Gonzales, Louisiana where you will receive personal care from a professional physical therapist!


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