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You’ve probably heard of the term “tennis elbow,” which is used to describe inflammation of the tendons in and around the elbow. This condition–which is not limited to tennis players or athletes in general–causes pain around the outside of the elbow and forearm due to prolonged use of the wrist and hand. Golfer’s elbow is quite similar in many ways.

What Is Golfer’s Elbow?

Golfer’s elbow, like tennis elbow, is a condition that causes pain where the forearm tendons attach to that bony bump on the inside of the elbow. Also like tennis elbow, the pain is often felt in the forearm and wrist. It’s not just experienced by golfers; anyone who uses their wrists repeatedly or clenches their fists is at risk for golfer’s elbow. The main difference between tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow is that tennis elbow pain is felt on the outside of the elbow, while golfer’s elbow pain occurs inside. (Interesting fact: many golfers suffer from tennis elbow than golfer’s elbow because of the repeated swinging motion, a mechanically improper swing, or simply age.)

How Is Golfer’s Elbow Treated?

For most people, a simple course of rest, ice, and over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen alleviates the pain. Many people wonder how long it will take to recover from golfer’s elbow. The truth is: it varies by individual. Bodies heal differently; some people naturally heal quickly, others take longer. The best recommendation is to rest and apply ice until the pain is gone. Just be patient–it might take several days or even weeks.  If that doesn’t work, there are other options.

Physical therapy can help golfer’s elbow. At Physical Therapy Now in Irving, we offer several types of PT, including massage therapy, aqua therapy, muscle strain/sprain therapy, and exercise therapy, all of which can help injuries such as golfer’s elbow.

Will Golfer’s Elbow Heal on Its Own?

In most cases, yes. But again, it may take an extended period of rest and treatment. If a few weeks have passed without any or even just minimal relief, it’s a good idea to give us a call, as the condition (on rare occasions) may be more serious. Important to note is that there is a difference between golfer’s elbow healing on its own as opposed to letting it go untreated.

Healing on its own uses a doctor’s diagnosis and treatment plan (whether it’s ice, rest, medication, or stretching), while leaving the condition untreated essentially ignores the problem…and that can lead to some painful consequences such as loss of grip strength, limited range of motion, chronic pain, and even a permanent bend in the elbow.

Golfer’s Elbow Treatment

Whether you golf or not, Physical Therapy Now and our highly skilled and experienced physical therapists will work with you safely and effectively to reduce your discomfort and feel your best so you can get back on the links–or whatever it is you enjoy doing–again. With the right course of treatment, you’ll be feeling great, so call Physical Therapy Now in Irving at (214) 225-0291 to set up your first appointment!  Let’s get you back on the green!

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