Golf elbow joins the more famous tennis elbow in the sports injury listings. You might also hear people call it "throwers elbow" or even "little league elbow." The name golf elbow could mislead some into believing that it only happens to golfers, but this inflammation on the inside of the elbow can affect anyone who makes arm movements comparable to those in golf. A worker using a screwdriver and a painter and decorator are equally at risk of getting this pain. Even a popular politician or entertainment star might get golf elbow from shaking the hand of each person that wants to greet them.
After a person has overused an arm in golf, or some other sport or activity, they feel a pain traveling from the elbow bone up into the forearm. This pain affects the inside of the arm, and it becomes more severe when you make a fist. The elbow could become quite stiff. Also, many report they get a tingling sensation in their fingers and arm. As the wrist becomes weak, it makes it harder to grip objects. Rotating the wrist, or bending it down, cause pain. Contrary to what you might expect, a right-handed person might develop this problem in their left hand. People in the mid-30s and 40s are most likely to suffer from this injury.
The injury has nothing to do with how poorly you pay a round of golf, but it happens due to repeated twists or bends of the wrist. The movements the golfer makes as they manipulate the golf club leave them prone to this kind of injury but it also occurs to those engaged in throwing sports such a basketball. Even the successive wrist and finger movements on the computer keyboard sometimes lead to a comparable injury.
Since this injury happens due to overuse of the arm and wrist, logic suggests that rest is an essential part of the cure and medical science confirms this prognosis. Medical reports reveal that those who do not give the injured limb sufficient rest are at a much higher risk of developing a chronic problem that is much harder to treat. If rest requires a break from the golf course or a few days off work and away from the keyboard, the injured person must take the vacation.
A skilled physiotherapist can help relieve the pain and inflammation that golf elbow causes. They use several treatment methods. The traditional approach relies on massages. Professional sports teams employ specialist physiotherapists trained to treat this kind of injury, and you can find them in private practice. Massaging the tendon reduces muscle tension and strain. The latest ultrasound and laser treatments also have an important role to play furthering the healing process by repairing damaged tissue.
The answer to this question depends on the extent of the injury. Doctors' records reveal that in many cases that golf elbow heals within two weeks. However, these records also show that the problem could continue for months if the injured person ignores the advice about letting the injured limb rest. Lack of rest and effective treatment could also pave the way to the more serious and harder to treat the condition known as chronic golfer’s elbow pain syndrome.
In addition to that all-important rest ingredient, several traditional home treatments ease suffering. The application of ice packs is one of the most popular of these cures. Experts recommend you apply the ice pack every twenty minutes a couple of times per day. After three or four days have passed, use a heat retainer to apply heat to the injured arm. Heat improves blood circulation, and it is usually more effective than cold treatments for more serious golf elbow cases.
Even though this is a golf elbow injury, some people find it helps to wear the elbow support that doctors call a "tennis elbow brace." The big advantage of this elbow support comes through the way it helps to reduce tendon strain. It eases pressure on the tendon by spreading this out across the muscles. Through lowering the tension on the area of the tendon that gives pain, the brace also makes it easier to cope with this injury symptom.
If the doctor is convinced that the inflammation and pain are particularly severe, he or she might prescribe ibuprofen or some other anti-inflammatory drug. MRIs and ultrasounds supplement physical examinations to show the extent of the injury and suggest the best treatment option. The doctor might even prescribe cortisone injections if the pain and swelling are even more aggravated and standard treatments fail to bring sufficient relief.
Even when a dedicated golfer has elbow pain, it does not automatically follow that they have golfer's elbow. For example, upon further investigation doctors sometimes discover that this pain comes from a cervical spine injury. An injury to the neck joint (that medical science labels C67) produces a pain that easily is mistaken for golfer's elbow. A well-trained physiotherapist can find out if what appears to be a case of golfer's elbow comes from a neck injury.
Experts recommend that you give your forearm muscles a good stretch before and after a game of golf, a long typing session or any other activities that involve repetitive actions. The stretch helps remove muscle soreness as well as reducing the chance of injury. People who work many hours at a computer keyboard claim that specially designed mouse pads with better wrist support reduce their golfer's elbow risk. Taking at least a five-minute break each hour is another good practice to follow.
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