Golfer’s elbow, baseball elbow, suitcase elbow — these are all names for a painful condition we refer to as medial epicondylitis. Whether it was time spent on the links or in the airport, all you know is that you want relief from the forearm pain.
The anatomy of golfer’s elbow
In order to best manage a condition like golfer’s elbow, it’s helpful to understand the anatomy of the area in question. When you have medial epicondylitis, the tendon and muscles that run from the inside of your elbow to your wrist are damaged, which leads to painful inflammation.
This damage typically occurs when you overuse the tendon, which is responsible for certain movements in your wrist, such as gripping and twisting. As a result, you can develop pain on the inside of your elbow that can extend into your forearm. You may also have trouble with your grip and stiffness in your elbow.
Golfer’s elbow isn’t terribly common — it affects less than 1% of the population in the United States and typically strikes between the ages of 40 and 60.
Tips for dealing with golfer’s elbow
If you’ve developed pain in your elbow, your first order of business is to come see us so we can properly diagnose the problem. Getting a definitive diagnosis is important, as you want all of your ensuing efforts to count toward improving your condition.
For our part, we can treat your golfer’s elbow with:
These therapies are designed to improve the underlying health of your tendon and not just simply mask the problem with temporary pain relief.
While these treatments are highly effective in strengthening your damaged tendon and muscles, you can do your part to manage golfer’s elbow by:
Giving it a rest
Since golfer’s elbow is an overuse injury, it can do a world of good to give your damaged tendon a little time off from activities that rely on the soft tissue, such as, you guessed it, golf.
Engaging in physical therapy
When you have a condition like golfer’s elbow, physical therapy is very important. We have dedicated physical therapists who design programs that strengthen the muscles in your elbow, forearm, and wrist. These exercises will not only help to relieve your current golfer’s elbow, but help prevent the condition from recurring down the road.
When your pain flares, using an ice pack to reduce the inflammation is a very good idea.
If you want to provide your tendon with a little extra support, you might consider wearing a brace that helps to support your tendon. Of course, we can help you find the right brace for your needs.
Between your efforts at home and our treatments here, we can help you overcome your golfer’s elbow and restore pain-free use of your arm.
For more information about diagnosing, treating, and managing golfer’s elbow, contact one of our offices in West Orange or Westfield, New Jersey, to set up an appointment.