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Treatment for Golfer’s Elbow

As with any overuse injury, it's crucial to get treatment for golfer's elbow quickly. Apply ice to your elbow for 15-20 minutes three to four times per day. Rest the injured elbow for at least a few weeks. You may benefit from a splint or strap to prevent pulling of the injured tendon.

For pain, your doctor may recommend an oral NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug), like ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin, to reduce pain and swelling. A topical medication may help as well. You may also get an injection of a corticosteroid or painkiller (like lidocaine) in the elbow. This may relieve pain and swelling in the short term. These treatments do not seem to have long-term benefits.

After a few weeks, your doctor may recommend that you start stretching exercises and gradual strength training. Do not return to the activity that caused your golfer's elbow until you are fully healed.

Conservative treatments usually work for golfer's elbow. But if you're still having pain after three to six months, you may need surgery. These procedures can remove the damaged tendon, improve blood flow to the area to aid healing, and reattach the tendon to the bone. Full recovery may take three to six months.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Kimball Johnson, MD on June 23, 2012

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