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Golfer's Elbow, Part 2: Treatment

Although the condition is associated with golfers, medial epicondylitis is much more commonly seen in
people who are over using their arm doing something else. People who engage repetitive arm movements are
typically susceptible to golfer’s elbow.


Last time, we defined golfer’s elbow and discussed causes and symptoms of this painful condition. This
week, we will examine recommended treatment options for golfer’s elbow.
Treatment Options


So what are the treatment alternatives? Medical professionals typically recommend nonsurgical treatment by a
qualified physical therapist. With a success rate of up to 95%, this is usually as far as a patient needs to go for
healing.

Nonsurgical Treatment

Non-surgical treatment typically involves several important steps to recovery:

  • Rest. First, the injured arm requires proper rest. If activity is resumed too early, symptoms may worsen.
  • Ice. Ice packs should be applied to the effected elbow 15 to 20 minutes at a time, three to four times a day for several days
  • Brace the elbow. Using a brace on the affected area may help relieve the symptoms of golfer’s elbow by resting the muscles and tendons.
  • Anti inflammatory drugs. Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, naproxen, or acetaminophen.

  • Physical therapy. Stretching and strengthening exercises that lengthen the tendon of the wrist extensor muscles are particularly effective.

  • Physiotherapy treatments. The physical therapist may also use ultrasound, or iontophoresis (muscle-stimulating techniques) to promote healing.

  • Elbow wrap. Wrapping the elbow with an elastic bandage or use a splint will reduce the load on the tendons.

  • Steroid injections, such as cortisone, are very effective anti-inflammatory medicines. Your doctor will have to prescribe and administer these injections if he decides it is medically necessary or other treatments have not been effective in relieving the symptoms.


A newer treatment being tried is platelet-rich plasma. This involves drawing a small amount of your blood,
spinning it down and injecting it into the tender area, but this treatment is still in the experimental stage for now.

Surgical Treatment
If, after 6 to 12 months of non-surgical methods of treatment have not worked, your doctor may decide a more
aggressive approach is required and may recommend surgery.


If you are experiencing elbow pain, don’t wait for your family physician; visit Excel Rehabilitation Services on
Burnside Ave. in Gonzales, Louisiana. You will receive one-on-one care from an experienced physical therapist.


Online Sources:

Picture credit to Physioworks.com
Medscape: http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/97217-overview
MedInfo.com: http://www.medinfo.com/conditions/golferselbow.html
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS): http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00137
Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/golfers-elbow/basics/symptoms/con-20027964
Physioworks: http://physioworks.com.au/injuries-conditions-1/golfers-elbow

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