Author: Niki L. Carayannopoulos, DO
Golfer’s elbow is a painful condition of the inner side of the elbow. While it derives its name from the game of golf, this condition can actually develop in anyone who performs a repetitive activity for two hours per day or longer. Golfers, tennis players, factory workers, and individuals who are over the age of 40, obese or smoke can all be at increased risk.
Do I Have Golfer’s Elbow?
While only a health care professional and diagnose golfer’s elbow, symptoms may include:
- Pain and tenderness in the inside of the elbow
- Pain that worsens with movement
- Stiffness in the elbow
- Weakness in the hands and wrist
- Numbness or tingling in the ring or pinky finger
What Can I Do for Golfer’s Elbow?
If you have golfer’s elbow, your orthopedic physician may recommend the use of an over-the-counter medication like ibuprofen (which helps with pain and swelling) in addition to some simple rest/ice therapy.
Of course, many active golfers will be ready to get back out on the greens as quickly as possible. The good news is: there are some stretches and exercises that may help restore mobility and reduce stiffness. Ask your orthopedic physician how certain stretches and exercises for golfer’s elbow may be able to help…
- Wrist flexor stretch: Hold the affected arm straight out in front of you. Raise the palm to make a “stop” motion. With your other hand, gently pull back the fingers of the affected arm toward your body while keeping the arm stiff. Hold for 30 seconds; repeat five times.
- Rubber ball squeeze: Squeeze a rubber ball for five seconds. Release. Repeat 10-15 times. Do two sets of this exercise.
- Wrist stretch: Grip a hammer or a light golf club in your affected arm. Hold the arm straight out in front of you while standing – the back of your hand facing the ceiling. Slowly rotate your wrist so that the palm faces upward. Then rotate back until the palm is facing the floor again.
- Resisted elbow flexion and extension: Hold a can of soup in the affected arm with the palm facing up. Bend your arm at the elbow, raising the can up toward your shoulder. Slowly lower until your arm is completely straight. Repeat 15 times. Do two sets. Gradually increase weight as your strength allows.
Schedule With a Houston Sports Medicine Doctor
For other Houston sports medicine needs, schedule an appointment at Houston Institute for Sports Medicine & Orthopedics by calling (713) 756-5546. You can also schedule your appointment online.
Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.