Ironically, golfers' elbow can afflict a wide range of people, not just those who play the sport. It is characterized by pain on the inside of the elbow - around the medial epicondyle of the humerus, the little bump of bone that sticks out on the inside of your elbow joint.
The causes of golfers' elbow are not entirely clear, and the onset can either be sudden, or develop as a chronic injury that gradually worsens over time.
Golfer's elbow is known medically as medial humeral epicondylitis, and the treatment is the same as for its tennis counterpart:
- Rest - in particular reducing the activity that caused the injury
- NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) such as ibuprofen
- Regular painkillers (analgesics)
- Ice packs and heat treatments - these can reduce pain and increase blood flow to the area
- Wearing an elastic elbow support
- Strengthening exercises and physical therapy
- Steroid injections into the joint
Ultimately, exercise will be the most important of these. Strengthening the
supporting muscles around the elbow joint is the long term way to avoid repeated occurrences and get back to playing pain free.