How To Prevent, Identify, Treat Golfer’s Elbow | Physiotherapy

Golfer's elbow

What is a golfer’s elbow?

Golfer’s elbow may be a pain-causing condition where tendons within the forearm muscles join the bony bulge on the within of the elbow. The pain can spread to your forearm and wrist.

Golfer’s elbow is analogous to lateral epicondylitis, which is found on the surface of the elbow. it’s not limited to golfers. Tennis players and people who constantly use their wrists or clench their fingers also can develop golfer’s elbow.

Golfer’s elbow pain doesn’t need to keep you off the course or your favourite activities. Rest and proper treatment can assist you to revisit on target.

Symptoms of golfer’s elbow

Golfer’s elbow is characterized by:

  • Pain and tenderness: Typically felt on the inner side of your elbow, the pain sometimes spreads along the inside side of your forearm. The pain is typically worse with certain movements.
  • Stiffness: Your elbow may feel stiff and clenching your fist may hurt.
  • Weakness: you’ll have weakness in your hands and wrists.
  • Numbness or tingling: These sensations can radiate to at least one or more fingers, usually the ring and tiny finger.
  • Golfer’s elbow pain can come on suddenly or gradually. The pain could also be worse with certain movements, like swinging a golf club.

Causes of golfer’s elbow

Golfer’s elbow also referred to as medial epicondylitis, is caused by damage to the muscles and tendons that control the wrist and fingers. The damage is typically associated with excessive or repeated stress, especially with forceful movements of the wrist and fingers. Improper lifting, throwing, or hitting, also as lacking warm-up or poor preparation, also can contribute to a golfer’s elbow.

In addition to golf, many activities and occupations can cause golfer’s elbow, including:

  • Racket sports: Incorrect technique with tennis strikes, especially the backhand, can cause tendon injuries. Overuse of topspin and employing a racket that’s too small or too heavy also can cause injury.
  • Launch sports: Incorrect pitching technique in baseball or softball are often another culprit. Soccer, archery, and javelin throwing also can cause golfer’s elbow.
  • Weight training: Lifting weights with the wrong technique, like bending your wrists during a bicep exercise, can strain your elbow muscles and tendons.
  • Forceful and repetitive occupational movements: These occur in fields like construction, plumbing, and carpentry.

To cause golfer’s elbow, activity generally must be finished for quite an hour each day for several days.

Risk factors for golfer’s elbow

You may be at increased risk of developing a golfer’s elbow if:

  • 40 years or older
  • Do repetitive activity a minimum of two hours each day
  • Obese
  • Smoker

Prevention of golfer’s elbow

You can take steps to stop a golfer’s elbow:

  • Strengthen your forearm muscles: Use light weights or squeeze a ball. Even simple exercises can help your muscles absorb the energy of quick physical stress.
  • Stretch before your activity: Walk or jog for a couple of minutes to warm up your muscles. Then do gentle stretches before starting your game.
  • Fix your form: Whatever your sport, ask a teacher to review your form to avoid overloading your muscles.
  • Use the proper equipment: If you’re using older golf irons, consider swapping them out for lighter graphite clubs. If you play tennis, confirm your racket fits you. A racket with a little grip or an important head can increase the danger of elbow problems.
  • Lift correctly: When lifting anything, including free weights, keep your wrist rigid and stable to scale back the force on your elbow.
  • Know when to rest: Try to not abuse your elbow. At the primary sign of elbow pain, take an opportunity.

Diagnosis of golfer’s elbow

Golfer’s elbow is typically diagnosed supported by your medical record and a physical exam. To assess pain and stiffness, your doctor may apply pressure to the affected area or ask you to manoeuvre your elbow, wrist, and fingers in various ways.

An X-ray can help the doctor rule out other causes of elbow pain, like a fracture or arthritis. More comprehensive imaging studies, like MRIs, are rarely done.

Golfer’s elbow treatment

Treatment begins by avoiding activity that causes pain. to assist relieve pain, use ice.


You can take an over-the-counter pain reliever. Try ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), Aleve (Aleve), or acetaminophen (Tylenol, others).

Corticosteroid injections aren’t commonly given because they need not been shown to be effective within the future. a replacement treatment being tested is platelet-rich plasma. This involves drawing a little amount of blood and injecting a concentrated amount of platelets and other anti-inflammatory factors into the sensitive area. More studies are needed to usage the effectiveness of this treatment.


Please try the following:

  • Break: Put your game of golf or other repetitive activities on hold until the pain goes away. If you come back to activity timely, it’s going to make your condition worse.
  • Put ice on the affected area: Apply ice packs to your elbow for 15 to twenty minutes at a time, three to fourfold each day for several days. to guard your skin, wrap the ice packs in a thin towel. it’s going to help to massage the within of your elbow with ice for five minutes at a time, two or 3 times each day.
  • Wear a brace: Your doctor may recommend that you simply wear a counterforce brace on the affected arm, which can reduce the strain on tendons and muscles.
  • Stretch and strengthen the affected area: Your doctor may suggest stretching and strengthening exercises. Progressive tendon loading with specific strength training exercises has been shown to be especially effective. Other physical or physical therapy practices can also be helpful.

Gradually return to your usual activities. When the pain is gone, practice the arm movements of your sport or activity. Review your golf or tennis swing with a teacher to form sure your technique is correct and make any necessary adjustments.


Surgery is never necessary. But if your signs and symptoms don’t respond to conventional treatment in six to 12 months, surgery could be an option. a replacement approach called the TENEX procedure involves the minimally invasive ultrasound-guided removal of connective tissue within the tendon pain region. More studies are needed.

Most people will recover with rest, ice, and pain relievers. counting on the severity of your condition, the pain can last for months or years, albeit you’re taking it easy and follow the instructions on the way to exercise your arm. Sometimes the pain returns or becomes chronic.

Complications of golfer’s elbow

If left untreated, a golfer’s elbow could eventually cause permanent disability: loss of grip strength, chronic pain, and limited range of motion of the elbow. The condition also can cause a permanent contracture (flexion) of the elbow. Although elbow surgery has potential risks and complications including nerve damage and infection, experienced orthopaedic surgeons will only recommend surgery if the advantages outweigh the risks.

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