golfers elbow

Does Golfers Elbow Go Away: 5 ways to cure golfers elbow

Also known as Epicondyle Tendinopathy, Golfer’s Elbow is a condition in which the tendons that attach your medial epicondyle and flexor muscles become damaged. It occurs when excessive force is put upon the tissues that they cannot handle.

Does golfer’s elbow go away? Golfer’s elbow is common in people aged between 30 and 50. It can be cured within 2-8 weeks, depending on the severity of the injury. It is treated by means of steroid injections and physiotherapy exercises as well as rest.

A painful condition, Golfer’s Elbow, should not cause any lasting damage and, despite claims to the contrary, does not cause arthritis. It is also not age-related, striking anyone, though more commonly those between age 30 and 50.

Curing Golfer’s Elbow can be done in a variety of ways, dependent on how severe the injury is. Before you can treat it however, you need to be sure it is what you are suffering from.

Often called Tennis Elbow, this condition is curable and can take anywhere from 2-8 weeks to fully recover from.

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What is Golfer’s Elbow (Tennis Elbow)

It’s scientifically known as lateral epicondylitis.

Golfer’s elbow occurs after extensive overuse of the muscles and tendons of the forearm, near the elbow joint. It is common in many sports, not just golf. The result is the tendons can have tiny tears and become strained and inflammation is sometimes seen in and around the elbow. It is very painful and debilitating without treatment. You will struggle to lift heavy objects and even little things like lifting a full kettle will cause discomfort.

Symptoms Of Golfer’s Elbow

Pain is a given when it comes to Golfer’s Elbow, but how severe that pain will be can vary. The spectrum is broad, with this ranging from mild to severe, with the movement of the wrist worsening it. Other symptoms include:

  • Tenderness when pressure is placed on the inside of your elbow
  • Pain around the medial epicondyle (bone area of the elbow)
  • Pain when bending your wrist
  • A weakened grip
  • Distinct discomfort when lifting heavy things such as boxes

Causes Of Golfer’s Elbow

Although it is commonly known as Golfer’s Elbow, golf is not a prerequisite of developing this injury. It is however, commonly suffered by golfers due to the circumstances that cause it. These include:

  • Repetitive hand movements such as painting a fence, hammering, and swinging a golf club
  • Excessively gripping an item such as a golf club
  • Tight muscles or poor forearm muscle strength when actively using arms
  • Poor technique
  • Trauma from a fall or a direct blow to the elbow

5 Ways To Cure Golfer’s Elbow

Whilst there are no quickfire cures for Golfer’s Elbow, there are ways to ease the discomfort and speed up the recovery process. In most cases, this means using traditional treatments such as the five excellent ones listed below.

1 Reducing Pain

As Golfer’s Elbow is most commonly left to resolve itself over a period of a few days to a few weeks, reducing the pain is often the only thing you can do. This includes taking actions such as reducing activities that cause pain and correcting poor techniques.

To correct poor techniques you should, for example, when lifting heavy objects ensure you are lifting with your forearm and shoulder, not the wrist. You may also want to address your posture and avoid strenuous tasks.

2 Medication

Painkillers such as Paracetamol and Ibuprofen can be used to control the pain from Golfer’s Elbow efficiently. However, for these medications to work to full potential, you need to ensure you are taking correct and regular doses. Alternatively, there are anti-inflammatory creams that you can rub directly onto the painful area.

Before taking or using medications you should consult a doctor or pharmacist. They will not only be able to advise you on the correct course to take but also the best medication.

I had golfer’s elbow when I first started playing golf and had two injections of steroids from my Doctor, but I also found Fisiocream helpful for reducing the pain and speeding up recovery. It’s available from Amazon here.

3 Steroid Injections

Usually, a steroid injection will only be offered if you are in severe pain or you don’t appear to be recovering. However, steroid injections are not the route to take for everyone, and you should discuss the pros and cons carefully with your Doctor. For more information on steroid injections read this NHS guide.

4 Physiotherapy

A physiotherapist can provide a range of treatments for Golfer’s Elbow to get you back to your normal activities. These will include, most likely, an exercise regime to help your elbow recover.

UK Golf Blogs image- Physiotherapy for golfing injuries
Physiotherapy will can help many types of golf injuries like golfer’s elbow

They may also recommend you wear a clasp which is a device designed to reduce the strain on your elbow. These however, are usually only suggested for those whose job requires them to make repetitive hand and elbow movements.

5 At Home Exercise Programme

Whilst you are under the care of a physiotherapist they may give you a set of exercises to complete at home between visits. These are designed to strengthen muscles and tendons, helping them to withstand the stresses that first caused Golfer’s Elbow.

These exercises should be pain-free although you may feel mild discomfort during the last few repetitions. This pain however, should not continue when you have finished exercising. Exercises should be undertaken 3 to 4 times a day and you should only do the ones your physiotherapist has shown you.

For more information on ways to ensure your golf game is pain free and goes without injury, read our article on the 5 Most Common Golf Injuries which may help you avoid them!

Conclusion: Golfer’s Elbow

The truth is there is no outright cure for Golfer’s Elbow that will make it go away overnight. However, with careful medication and by following your doctor’s advice it should not linger for more than a few weeks.

Be sure however, not to forget any advice that your doctor gives you to prevent this happening in the future, as not doing so could be painful and halt, however temporarily, your further playing of golf.

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