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Golfer’s Elbow – 3 Minute Injury Report

by | Feb 17, 2023 | 3 Minute Injury Report, Exercise, News, strain

Who gets golfer’s elbow?

The first question many have about golfers elbow is this: do you have to be playing golf in order to have golfers’ elbow, or medial epicondylitis? Actually, you can get golfer’s elbow from a lot of different activities. Most commonly the elbow becomes strained when you’re doing a gripping activity that involves your wrist pulling toward your body or rotating. This is the main motion that causes pain during golfing. The wrist flick at the end of a swing can help in getting that extra 10, 20, or 100 yards, which is where the nickname comes from.

What is happening?

The elbow is the joint where the upper arm bone (humerus) and lower arm bones (ulna and radius) come together. The elbow joint has a mass of muscles on the inside and the outside that attach around it, that help to move the wrist. These muscles attach down in the fingers and the wrist, but they originate up in the elbow. When you’re doing something over and over again that pulls the hand inward, it can cause quite a bit of pain in the elbow because the muscles are working, and repetitive strains often present at the tendon – where they originate. Now when this happens, it’s really painful to grip or do twisting motions.

So, what can you do about it?

If you saw our earlier video or post on tennis elbow, the opposite of golfer’s elbow, you might recognize some of these exercises. However, we want to emphasize the muscles on the opposite, inside, side of the arm in order to get them working differently than the tennis elbow muscles. Just like in that post, you’re going to hold a water bottle (or a small weight), with your palm facing up and your elbow bent. Let your wrist drop down, getting a big stretch in the front forearm muscles and then lift it back up with just your wrist.
The second thing that you may do for golfer’s elbow is a stretch for the muscles. With your palm facing up and your elbow straight, use your other hand to pull your fingers down toward the floor, feeling a stretch in the front of the forearm. In the first exercise you’re really working the muscles, while this one is stretching and working them at the same time.
The last exercise that you can do is take your water bottle or weight, and while keeping your elbow bent, rotate your palm up and then down gently. This is going to get some of those elbow muscles working and stretching in an alternating pattern. It’s important to use a weight that feels like a good amount of resistance, even if it’s a bit uncomfortable.
These three exercises would be the most basic exercises that we’d be able to give you to start on your path to recovery and becoming pain-free while you’re golfing, hammering, or doing anything that causes inside elbow pain.
I would love to hear about it if you try these exercises and you found some relief with it. Just drop us a comment in the box below. If you are still struggling to get over the pain or you’re still having some irritation we’d also love to hear about that. Please give us a comment or definitely give us a call and come in we’d love to be able to help you out.

– Dr. Jordan


The analgesic effect of joint mobilization and manipulation in tendinopathy: a narrative review. J Man Manip Ther 2021 Oct;29(5):276-287.  doi: 10.1080/10669817.2021.1904348. Epub 2021 Mar 26.

Management of Lateral Epicondylitis Orthopaedics & Traumatology: Surgery & Research Volume 105, Issue 8, Supplement, December 2019, Pages S241-S246