Medial Epicondylitis or Golfer's Elbow: Conservative Treatment

Patient

Q: What exercises can i do to strenghen my elbow so i can play golf without the pain? should i try stretching or weights or will that make the problem worse?

Doctor

A:   The repetitive use of the elbow muscles can produce microtears in the tendons, inflammation and pain and is called:  Medial Epicondylitis or Golfer’s elbow. In United States is one of the most common causes of elbow pain.
The conservative treatment for the Golfer’s Elbow is as follows: patient education and golf swing modification, anti-inflammatory drugs (such as Ibuprofen), physical therapy with flexibility and strengthening exercises, wrist splints if needed, and for patients that do not show significant improvement the corticosteroid injection may be consider.
Educated includes the condition's contributing factors and activity modification such as avoiding elbow flexion and leaning on the elbow, wrist flexion or any other painful movement. In addition, in the immediate term, you should place ice packs on the medial epicondyle for 10-15 minutes 3-4 times per day to decrease the pain and inflammation that occurs early in medial epicondylitis. It is very important seek a professional instructor for the proper technique and equipment, and a physical therapist to show you the exercise routine of stretching and range of motion, using ice packs before and after therapy. Sports activities are gradually reinitiated after the pain and inflammation have improved.

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