Golfer’s elbow, also known as pitcher’s elbow, is the common term used for pain near the inner side of the elbow. It is mainly a result of damage to the muscles that control wrist and finger movement. The tendons of the forearm begin to attach themselves to the inside of the bone of the elbow and the inflammation causes extreme discomfort. This is a result of repeated overuse of the wrist and finger muscles. It is called golfer’s elbow because the sport of golf is a common cause of the condition. Participation in sports involving throwing, swinging, or hitting is a primary culprit in the development of this condition. It can also be a result of regular manual labor that involves repeated hand and wrist movement.
Symptoms and Diagnosis
A medical history and physical exam will normally be enough for Dr. Urbanosky to diagnose golfer’s elbow. An x-ray would usually appear normal, so the best diagnostic tool for golfer’s elbow is pain. Symptoms of golfer’s elbow include:
After the first incidence of pain, rest from activity and use of an anti-inflammatory medication is recommended. Icing the affected area is also encouraged. If the injury is sports related, a break from and examination of activity level is also suggested. The discomfort may reduce when simple accommodations are made. If pain does not go away in the short term, there are many non-surgical options. Cortisone injections may be used to relieve pain. Additionally, daily exercises could strengthen the muscle around the elbow and provide relief. Braces can be used to stabilize the arm and take pressure off of the muscle. If non-surgical, temporary treatments don’t help after an extended period of time, Dr. Urbanosky might recommend surgery to remove portions of damaged tissue, though surgery is rarely necessary to treat the condition.
To schedule a consultation with Dr. Urbanosky about your elbow condition, please call: (815) 462-3474.
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