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Golfer's Elbow Treatment Overview

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Care Plan


First steps to consider

  • You can usually treat golfer’s elbow at home with ice, heat, rest, and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin).
  • Avoid activities that aggravate symptoms like repetitive wrist and finger motions.
See home treatments

When you may need a provider

  • Your pain isn’t improving after trying home treatments for 1–2 weeks.
  • You develop stiffness in the elbow or are unable to perform normal daily activities because of the pain.

See care providers

Emergency Care

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Go to the ER if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Your elbow is red, hot, and swollen with fever or other signs of infection.
  • Severe pain with elbow motion.
  • You injured your elbow and have severe pain or the elbow is out of place.

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All treatments for golfer's elbow
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When to see a healthcare provider

You should see a healthcare provider if your symptoms don’t improve after 1–2 weeks of home treatments or if your pain gets worse. Also see a provider if you have severe pain, or if you injured yourself and you have severe pain or your elbow seems out of place.

Getting diagnosed

Golfer's elbow can usually be diagnosed based on your symptoms and a physical exam. Your provider may request X-rays to check for arthritis or other conditions that may cause pain in the elbow.

What to expect from your visit

  • Physical therapy may be recommended to help stretch and strengthen the elbow, wrist, and finger muscles and tendons.
  • NSAIDs may be prescribed to reduce inflammation and pain.
  • A cortisone injection may be recommended for more immediate relief.

Prescription medications

  • Meloxicam (Mobic)
  • Nabumetone (Relafen)
  • Diclofenac (Voltaren)
  • Celecoxib (Celebrex)

Types of providers who treat golfer’s elbow

  • A primary care provider can treat mild to moderate symptoms.
  • An orthopedic surgeon, who specializes in the treatment of muscle, bone, and joint disorders, may be needed if your symptoms are severe or treatments aren’t
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Frequently asked questions