The golfer’s elbow is an injury to the soft tissue of the tendons and muscles that surrounds the elbow joint. Treatment for such injury would be similar to other soft tissue injury therefore immediately after the injury occurred or when the pain started to first set in, the patient must follow the RICE+R regime. RICE is Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation with an additional R meaning Referral to a professional for a proper diagnosis. The RICE regime must be implemented for at least 48 hours for optimum results.
You can ice the injured elbow for 15 minutes at a time, 6 times a day for 2 days. Give it enough time to rest and after 2 days of icing, you can start applying heat to your elbow. To help with its healing, you can use an elbow support or brace to reduce the load on the elbow. If this won’t work, you should seek a professional to rehabilitate the elbow.
Golfer’s Elbow Rehabilitation by a Sports Injury Specialist
If immediate treatment does nothing to ease the pain on your elbow, a sports injury specialist would be able to treat your injured elbow by having an ultrasound, electrical stimulation or with the use of a laser treatment. If you see a Medical Doctor as your PCP he or she may prescribe you with pain and anti-inflammatory medications such vicodin and ibuprofen. You will also undergo rehabilitation exercises. You will begin with some light exercises that will mostly be stretching exercises. By doing so, the level of pain could substantially be reduced and you will gain your range of motion again. Strengthening exercises would also be required to bring back the strength of your elbow and wrist. Do take note that your elbow and arms must not be exercised to the point that it gets painful. If pain is felt, the exercise must be stopped or lessened.
It is advisable that stretching begins as soon as possible gradually increasing the duration as rehabilitation progresses. Stretches can start by holding the stretch position for just 10 seconds at a time gradually increasing it to 40 seconds. Do this 5 times per set at 3 sets a day.
The specialist may also prescribe you with sports massage therapy. This is to be applied after the acute stage and must begin lightly just below the pain level of the patient. After treatment, cold therapy would be applied.
The last stage of rehabilitation is the returning to activity. This is done gradually as well and this stage must only begin when the patient can perform his or her activity with no pain. If pain is felt, this stage must be delayed further. This stage may begin once the strengthening exercises won’t cause the patient any pain. The use of a brace or strap is recommended once you begin this stage. Gradually increase the activity in duration of 6 weeks. If during the increase of activity the patient starts to feel pain, the activity must be reduced by one notch or until there’s no pain experienced. Stretching and strengthening exercise must be maintained throughout this routine.