What is Golfer’s Elbow?

Golfer’s elbow is the common name for a condition that also can be termed medial epicondylitis in the case of an acute inflammatory condition or medial elbow tendinosis in a chronic case. Both involve injury and pain in the forearm. The conditions are marked by tenderness in the wrist flexors and/or region of the inner elbow where the wrist flexors attach. It is commonly seen in athletes or workers who engage in repetitive twisting and wrist movements.

Symptoms

  • Pain and tenderness which can radiate into the forearm and wrist
  • Stiffness which is often worse upon rising in the morning
  • Numbness and tingling which is particularly felt in ring or little fingers
  • A weakness in the hands and wrists

Symptoms can occur suddenly or gradually over time. Other than swinging golf clubs, people are most likely to experience pain or other symptoms when they flex their wrists, turn doorknobs or shake hands with others.

Common Treatments

  • Manual therapy aimed at restoring function to the wrist flexors
  • Activity modification as needed
  • Modalities, such as cold packs
  • Anti Inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen

When to Contact Doctor or Specialist

  • When the pain inhibits your ability to perform daily activities
  • When it’s difficult to move the elbow

Prevention

  • Learn to use correct form when lifting or hitting golf ball
  • Use the proper equipment
  • Stretch before engaging in physical activities
  • Strengthen wrist, arm, or trunk as needed