Golfer’s elbow is a condition that causes pain on the inner side of the elbow. This is the location where the tendons of the forearm muscles attach to the bony bump on the inside of the elbow. The pain may spread to the forearm and wrist.
Golfer’s elbow is similar to tennis elbow; however, it is not limited to golfers. Tennis player can also develop golfer’s elbow.
Rest and appropriate treatment may relieve the pain associated with golfer’s elbow and reduce its interference with activities.
Symptoms of golfer’s elbow include:
- Pain and tenderness on the inner side of the elbow
- Weakness in the hands and wrists
- Numbness or tingling in one or more fingers
The pain associated with golfer’s elbow can appear suddenly or gradually. The pain might worsen in the following situations:
- Swinging a golf club or racket
- Shaking hands
- Squeezing or pitching a ball
- Lifting weights
- Flexing the wrist
- Turning a doorknob
- Picking up something with the palm down
Golfer’s elbow, also known as medial epicondylitis, is caused by damage to the muscles and tendons that control the wrist and fingers. The damage is often associated with excess or repetitive stress.
Activities that may lead to golfer’s elbow include:
- Golf: gripping or swinging the clubs incorrectly
- Racket sports: excessive topspin or a racket that is too small or heavy
- Throwing sports: improper pitching technique
- Weight training: improper lifting technique
- Other activities: activities that requires repetitive bending and straightening the elbow (painting, raking, hammering, cooking)
Golfer’s elbow is more common in people aged 35 and over. There are no significant factors that increase the risk of golfer’s elbow; however, it can affect anyone who repeatedly stresses the wrists or fingers.
Untreated golfer’s elbow may cause the following complications:
- Chronic elbow pain
- Limited range of motion
- Lasting, fixed bend (contracture) in the elbow
- Strengthening of the forearm muscles
- Stretching before physical activities
- Improving a sports technique
- Proper lift training to reduce the force transmitted to the elbow
It is also significant to rest and take breaks from physical activities that cause stress to the muscles and tendons.