Recognizing Golfer’s Elbow

Recognizing Golfer’s Elbow

As an athlete, the health of your joints directly correlates to your athletic output. When joints such as your elbow are overused, they become susceptible to injury. One of the most common elbow injuries an athlete can face is known as golfer’s elbow. If you’re experiencing this condition, the sports medicine experts at New York Sports Medicine Institute will be there to help. Our very own Dr. Neil Roth will confirm the diagnosis of golfer’s elbow and determine the best form of treatment to move forward with. He’d also like to share more information about this condition so you’ll be able to recognize right away when your elbow has become affected by this issue.

What Is Golfer’s Elbow?

Just as the name infers, golfer’s elbow is a condition that affects the elbow joint. It occurs as a result of inflammation that takes place in the tendons that connect the forearm to your elbow.  This inflammation will cause pain on the inside of the elbow joint, and may even radiate to the forearm. 

Recognizing the Signs

When you participate in activities that regularly require you to bend or swing your elbow, experiencing sporadic pain in this area can be normal. However, you must always be in tune with your body to be able to determine when a serious issue is taking place. While pain on the inside of your elbow is the leading symptom for golfer’s elbow, it is not the only one. The presence of the following symptoms also points toward you being afflicted by this condition:

  • Numbness or tingling that radiates into numerous fingers.
  • Weakness in your hands and wrists.
  • Stiffness in your elbow joint.

Common Causes Of Golfer’s Elbow

While the name of this condition may suggest it is caused by a specific sport, golfer’s elbow can be the result of partaking in various activities. At New York Sports Medicine Institute, we have also seen patients develop this condition as a result of participating in the below activities:

  • Racquet sports such as tennis or badminton.
  • Using improper technique when lifting weights.
  • Throwing sports such as baseball, softball, or football.  

When To Visit New York Sports Medicine Institute

After experiencing pain in your elbow as a result of this condition, it’s easy to believe you can handle this on your own. However, there are times when resting and ice is not enough to correct the issue. When you begin to experience the below, we recommend that you contact us for treatment:

  • Inability to bend your elbow.
  • Your elbow appears deformed.
  • Your elbow is hot and inflamed all while experiencing a fever.

Treating Golfer’s Elbow

After being diagnosed with golfer’s elbow, the first type of treatment Dr. Roth will recommend is physical therapy. This form of treatment is non-invasive and uses a mixture of physical-based activities to promote treatment. However, if this does not work, surgery will be required to relieve you of your symptoms. Two of the operations that our team may have to perform include:

  • Tendon Debridement: During this operation, Dr. Roth will remove the damaged tissue from the tendons, alleviating your symptoms.   
  • Tendon Release: Also referred to as a medial epicondyle release, this surgery is done to take tension off the flexor tendon by making a small incision over the medial epicondyle.     

The sooner you are able to recognize you are suffering from golfer’s elbow, the faster you’ll be able to seek out treatment. Be sure to request an appointment with our team at New York Sports Medicine Institute so you can take the first steps in regaining the functionality of your elbow today!