Technical examinations and therapy for golfer’s elbow
Ultrasonography may be necessary to confirm the diagnosis.
A magnetic resonance of the elbow is advisable in exceptional cases to assess the elbow pain . An additional neck resonance could be done to rule out cervical radiculopathy if neurological symptoms are present (such as loss of reflexes , numbness, pins and needles).
Electromyography (EMG) is a test that evaluates the nerve impulses of muscles as they contract; it is recommended when the symptoms are associated with a pinched nerve.
How is tendonitis treated?
First of all, it is important to take care of your arm and stop sporting activities such as playing golf.
Apply ice or cold packs to the medial epicondyle 3 times a day for 20 minutes (never apply ice directly to the skin).
To reduce tendon stress, wearing an elbow brace 2-3 cm below the medial elbow condyle or a wrist splint is recommended.
This conservative treatment is helpful in allowing inflammation and pain to subside.
A visit to a physiotherapist can also be advisable to learn physiological movement sequences and to correct misalignments in everyday life and sport.
Medicines for golfer’s elbow
There are many medications available to treat golfer’s elbow, but they only provide temporary relief and cause further degeneration.
The doctor may prescribe pain relievers, such as acetaminophen, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Brufen), but these can cause side effects, such as abdominal discomfort or stomach ulcers .
Instead of taking medicines, they can also be applied to the affected area in the form of anti-inflammatory cream or gel. Cortisone injections
can also be given directly to the tendon, but only in limited form, as this treatment can weaken the tendons. For taking cortisone
a doctor’s prescription is required.
Physiotherapy for golfer’s elbow
Physiotherapy techniques such as laser therapy combined with ultrasound are very effective in relieving symptoms. Usually these applications have a long-term effect.
Shockwaves are not typically used in the treatment of golfer’s elbow.
Manual therapies are very effective in treating medial humeral epicondylitis; Ciriax and myofascial massages are often used because they remove fibrosis and tissue adhesions.
When pain and inflammation subside, a specific strengthening and stretching exercise program can be followed.
Golfer’s elbow surgery
Surgical treatment for golfer’s elbow is extremely rare, but if conservative therapies are ineffective after 12 months, surgery may be considered.
Two surgical procedures are available:
1. Tendon excision: the surgeon makes a small incision and removes the damaged tissue.
2. Release of the tendon: the surgeon removes scar tissue and calcium deposits and reattachs the healthy tendon to the bone.
Potential complications include infection and ongoing ulnar nerve symptoms.
Approximately 95% of patients with golfer’s elbow recover after a few months of rest. Of course, the recovery time can be shortened if conservative physiotherapeutic treatments are undertaken.
Sporting activities should not be resumed until symptoms have completely resolved.
- Golfer’s arm or golfer’s elbow
- Therapy for tendinitis on the ankle
- Therapy for internal ligament tears