You'll probably start by seeing your primary care physician. If you don't improve with rest, ice and over-the-counter medications, your doctor might refer you to a sports medicine specialist or to a doctor with advanced training in musculoskeletal disorders.
Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment.
What you can do
- List your symptoms and when they began.
- Write down key medical information, including other conditions you have and all medications and supplements you're taking.
- Log your typical daily activity, including how often, long and hard you play sports or do other activities that tax your elbow. Note whether you've recently changed the frequency, intensity or method of your workouts.
- Jot down recent injuries that could have damaged your elbow.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor to help you make the most of your time together.
Below are some basic questions to ask a doctor who is examining you for possible golfer's elbow.
- What is the most likely cause of my signs and symptoms?
- Are there other possible causes?
- Do I need tests to confirm the diagnosis?
- What treatment approach do you recommend?
- With treatment, will I eventually be able to resume the sport or activity that caused my elbow problems?
- How long will I need to avoid the sport or activity that caused my elbow problems?
- What kind of exercise routine can I safely follow while I'm healing?
- Will I need surgery?
- How often will you see me to monitor my progress?
Don't hesitate to ask other questions.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you questions, including:
Aug. 25, 2015
- What are your symptoms and when did you first notice them?
- Is your pain constant? Is it severe?
- Do tasks that use your elbow — lifting, gripping, carrying, typing, shaking hands — trigger pain?
- Are your symptoms affecting your ability to complete daily tasks? Are they affecting your sleep?
- What is your exercise routine?
- Have you recently changed your training or equipment, such as using new techniques or a new racket?
- What activities do you perform at work?
- What are your recreational activities or hobbies?
- Have you tried at-home treatments? If so, has anything helped?
- Have you recently had an injury that might have caused elbow damage?
- Have you been diagnosed with other medical conditions?
- Jayanthi N. Epicondylitis (tennis and golf elbow). http://www.uptodate.com/ home. Accessed Aug. 7, 2015.
- Golf injuries to the hand, wrist or elbow. American Society for Surgery of the Hand. http://www.assh.org/handcare/hand-arm-injuries/Golf-injury. Accessed Aug. 7, 2015.
- Golf injury prevention. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00137. Accessed Aug. 8, 2015.
- Amin NH, et al. Medical epicondylitis: Evaluation and management. Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. 2015;23:348.
- Dimitrios S. Exercise for tendinopathy. World Journal of Methodology. 2015;5:51.