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It’s any golfer’s worst nightmare. You go to tee off, only to find your arm explodes in pain. There’s no getting around it: you have golfer’s elbow, and tee time is officially on hold.

But you didn’t become a good golfer by sitting around twiddling your thumbs. You did it by taking action. If you want to take action to get your golf game back, follow these tips and tricks for managing golfer’s elbow.

Know the Signs of Golfer’s Elbow

You can’t improve your golfer’s elbow if you don’t know that you have it. Knowing the signs will help you identify it and take action before it gets worse. If you notice these sensations in your elbow, there’s a chance you may have golfer’s elbow:

  • Pain
  • Tenderness
  • Weakness
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Numbness
  • Tingling

Additionally, you may find that you have trouble moving your elbow, or that your elbow looks inflamed or deformed. If this is the case, you may want to consider visiting your physician.

Don’t Rush Back to the Green

As hard as it is, the most important step to take to manage golfer’s elbow is to stop playing. Golfer’s elbow is a repetitive strain condition, and your muscles need time to recover. The length of time you need to rest depends on how bad your condition is, but in most cases, you’ll need to rest for about six weeks.

Do Strength-Building Exercises and Stretches

Resting doesn’t mean doing nothing, though. Doing stretches and strength-building exercises will help you recover more quickly. Your doctor can recommend some exercises, but here are a few you can add to your routine right away:

  • Golfer’s elbow stretch: Hold your arm out in front of you and gently pull your hand back toward you.
  • Wrist stretches: Lay your forearm on a flat surface and gently pull your hand toward you.
  • Resistance wrist stretches: Extend your wrist beyond the flat surface. Hold a dumbbell in this hand and lift it slowly back and forth.

Listen to your body as you do this. If after exercising for a few minutes you find your arm starts hurting, stop right away.

Find Effective Ways To Manage Pain

When we say to look for effective ways to manage pain, we don’t just mean you should get a cortisone shot. Cortisone may offer immediate relief, but it may not be as effective later on. Anti-inflammatory medications may help in reducing swelling, Or if you’d rather try drug-free pain treatments, you can always opt for icing and bracing the affected areas.

Golfer’s elbow can be a nightmare, but taking steps to help heal will help you wake up from the nightmare just in time to tee off.