Treatment for golf elbow, also called medial epicondylitis, often just means staying off the links for a period of time. On the other hand, golf elbow treatment or medial epicondylitis treatment may require injections from your NYC sports injury team. Don’t put off treatment for medial epicondylitis, because you could end up with more serious consequences. Come to our sports and pain management clinic to get your elbow pain evaluated. Meet our elbow doctor Febin Melepura M.D. who is one of the best elbow and sports pain management specialists in NYC.
Medial epicondylitis, more commonly referred to as golf elbow, is a painful condition involving the area on the inside of your elbow where the muscles meet that inner bony point. It’s similar to tennis elbow, though tennis elbow involves the outer point and connecting muscles.
The pain may radiate down your forearm and into your wrist and hands.
While medial epicondylitis is often referred to as golf elbow, anyone who repeatedly uses their wrist or clenches their fingers can develop this condition. Since the location for these muscles is on the inside of the arm, traumatic injury is less common. Your Midtown Manhattan sports medicine and pain management team can help you pinpoint the source of your pain and recommend the most effective golf elbow treatment options.
Symptoms of Golf Elbow
The symptoms that often call for treatment of medial epicondylitis vary between individuals. The treatment depends on the cause and length of time you’ve been doing the repetitive movement. Medial epicondylitis symptoms often include:
- Pain on the inner side of your elbow
- Pain that typically worsens after certain repeating activities
- Pain that occurs suddenly or develops slowly over time
- Numbness or tingling that may radiate into the ring and/or little finger
Causes Vary Widely
Different activities contribute to or worsen the pain of golf elbow. If you’re experiencing pain, it may arise from repeated motions involving jobs, hobbies, sports and even mundane activities like eating. Commonly, your NYC doctor sees instances of the condition that result from:
- Swinging a golf club or racquet
- Squeezing a ball or pitching
- Other throwing sports such as football, archery, javelin or bowling
- Shaking hands
- Turning a doorknob
- Lifting weights
- Picking up something with your palm down
- Repeatedly flexing your wrist
- Raking or shoveling
- Chopping wood
- Assembly-line work
- Computer work
- Using a screwdriver
When to Seek Medial Epicondylitis Treatment
Many cases of golf elbow resolve on their own. If left untreated, you may end up with chronic conditions that limit your range of motion or cause a fixed bend in your elbow with the inability to straighten it completely. To prevent long-term issues, consult your pain specialist for any of the following:
- You’ve tried home treatment for a few days without experiencing any relief.
- The area is hot and inflamed or you have an accompanying fever.
- You can’t bend your elbow.
- Your elbow looks deformed.
- You suspect a broken bone or dislocation.
In determining the correct treatment for golf elbow, your sports and pain specialist takes a detailed medical history, checks your range of motion and looks for signs of swelling, bruising or compromised nerves. Occasionally, electromyography or nerve-testing is done to rule out other issues before you begin golf elbow treatment.
Treatment for Medial Epicondylitis
Your Manhattan sports medicine doctor devises a treatment for medial epicondylitis that’s customized to your lifestyle and needs. It begins conservatively and may include:
- Eliminating aggravating activities for a while
- Ice for 20 to 30 minutes every three to four hours in the first few days
- Heat following the same schedule after the first few days
- Elastic bandage, brace or splint to reduce the load on your elbows
- Over-the-counter medication, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen or naproxen sodium
- Prescription pain relievers for a short period of time
- Physical or occupational therapy to include stretching and strengthening exercises for the affected areas
- Corticosteroid injections to relieve pain, although these must be used sparingly to avoid tendon rupture
- Platelet-rich plasma injections to encourage repair of your tendons
- For the severest cases, medial epicondylitis treatment may require surgery to repair tendons or ligaments
Don’t Ignore Aftercare
It’s always preferable to work to prevent injury, either from the beginning or to protect against recurrence after golf elbow treatment. Good posture and healthy technique keep your body well balanced. Self-care techniques include:
- Work to strengthen your forearms to protect the pointy soft tissue that connects to your bone.
- Stretch carefully and warm up before any activity that may aggravate or potentially injure your elbow.
- Pay attention to form when doing repetitive motions
- Take frequent breaks and do stretching exercises in between.
- Use the correct equipment for the task you’re working to accomplish.
- Know proper technique for lifting small or large loads.
- Listen to your body and know when to rest.
Your elbow pain may be a factor in your life for some time. These injuries do not heal quickly and some individuals fight pain either intermittently or chronically for several months or longer. Early detection and activity modification give you the best chance for a satisfactory outcome. Follow your doctor’s treatment for golf elbow carefully. Open and honest communication with your pain specialist encourages a more rapid recovery time.
Do you have any questions about the golf elbow (medial epicondylitis) treatment we offer in NYC? Would you like to schedule an appointment with the best rated elbow doctor Febin Melepura MD of sports injury clinic in NYC? Please contact our office for consultation with the top elbow pain relief specialist in Midtown Manhattan.