If you have golfer’s elbow, it’s the inside (medial) epicondyle tendon that has become irritated and inflamed due to the development of tiny microtears over time. This tendon is connected to the forearm muscle that allows you to pull your wrist back and splay out your fingers. It also secures the muscle at the elbow.
Golfer’s elbow doesn’t just happen to golfers – it can happen to anyone who repeatedly performs wrist flexion movements or grips with the fingers. Tennis, bowling, football, weightlifting, and pitching all involve similar motions that can result in golfer’s elbow – as do certain occupations such as painters, plumbers, cooks, and assembly line workers.
In most cases, the condition develops slowly over time – the hallmark of a repetitive stress disorder. And symptoms like pain, stiffness, and tingling and numbness tend to get worse with time.
Signs and Symptoms of Golfer’s Elbow
Symptoms associated with golfer’s elbow may range from mild to severe and may include:
- Difficulty bending the elbow
- Difficulty making a fist
- Soreness and warmth in the elbow
- Numbness or a pins-and-needles sensation (anywhere from the elbow to the pinky finger area)
- Pain when shaking hands
- Pain with wrist flexion
- Stiff elbow
- Weak grip
Treating Golfer’s Elbow
For most tendon injuries, the first approach to treatment tends to focus on conservative measures such as RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation), anti-inflammatory medication, and the use of braces or other immobilizers.
Physical therapy often involves specific exercises to strengthen your forearm muscles, which can act as a buffer to the stress and strain of certain wrist and finger movements.
Surgery is rarely required to treat golfer’s elbow. But if other measures have failed to bring symptom relief and your doctor recommends it, surgery may be used to remove scar tissue in the area of tendon pain to promote proper healing of the elbow. If the tendon is being pinched by bone tissue, some of it may be surgically removed to alleviate the problem.
For Golfer’s Elbow Treatments, Contact Dr. Browdy Today!
Don’t let golfer’s elbow keep you off the course! See an orthopedic physician who specializes in treating golfer’s elbow and get back to the activities you enjoy – without pain. Call Dr. Jason Browdy in St. Louis, Missouri at (314) 991-2150 or request an appointment now.