Golfer's elbow is something that all golfers are likely aware of. You can certainly work to prevent it from happening, but nothing can give you a 100 percent guarantee of not experiencing it. If you do experience it, it is important to know how this condition is treated so that you can quickly recover and return to the swing of things.
What to do Right Away
As soon as you start to notice the symptoms of golfer's elbow, there are two things that you should immediately start doing to reduce pain and inflammation. You can start these before you even head to your healthcare provider for an evaluation. First and foremost is rest. You will need to put down the club until the pain is gone, or until your healthcare provider states that it is okay to play again. Next is ice. Ice can be applied as many as four times per day at 15 to 20 minutes each time.
Stretching and Load Reduction
Compressing the affected elbow through the use of an ACE bandage can be helpful. Sometimes a healthcare provider will provide a forearm strap. You will also want to avoid lifting things with this arm. Next, your healthcare provider or a physical therapist may suggest some strengthening and stretching exercises to do and will let you know when you can start to do these.
Medications for Pain and Other Symptoms
For many people, over-the-counter pain medications will be helpful in relieving the pain and discomfort associated with golfer's elbow. Acetaminophen may help with pain, and if you want to reduce pain and inflammation, something like naproxen or ibuprofen would be best.
If the over-the-counter medications fail to provide relief, talk to your healthcare provider. He or she may suggest a cortisone injection. This is often helpful in reducing swelling and pain in the affected elbow.
Getting Back on the Green
Your healthcare provider will let you know when it is okay to start gradually returning to golf. Once the pain is gone, you will probably be allowed to start practicing golf swing motions again. It is a good idea to work with a trainer to make sure that your swing is proper to avoid re-injury.
R. Elizabeth C. Kitchen is a former athlete and current coach. She has a background in nursing, fitness and nutrition and sports nutrition. She combines her passion and education for both sports and health and uses it to influence her writing. Follow Rose on Twitter @Rose_Kitchen