Golfer’s elbow is similar to tennis elbow. But it occurs on the inside — rather than the outside — of the elbow. And it’s not limited to golfers. Tennis players and others who repeatedly use their wrists or clench their fingers can develop golfer’s elbow. The pain of golfer’s elbow doesn’t have to keep you off the course or away from your favorite activities. With rest and appropriate treatment, you can get back into the swing of things.
Golfer’s elbow is characterized by pain and tenderness on the inner side of the elbow. Sometimes the pain extends along the inner side of the forearm. Your elbow may feel stiff, and it may hurt to make a fist. You may have weakness in your hands and wrists.
- Golf. Gripping or swinging the clubs incorrectly can take a toll on your muscles and tendons.
- Racket sports. Excessive topspin can hurt your elbow. Using a racket that’s too small, heavy or tightly strung also can lead to injury.
- Throwing sports. Improper pitching technique in baseball or softball can be another culprit.
- Other activities. Painting, raking, hammering, chopping wood, typing and other repetitive wrist, hand or arm movements can result in golfer’s elbow as well.
The sooner you begin treatment, the sooner you’ll be able to return to your usual activities.
Depending on the severity of your condition, the pain may linger for several months — even if you take it easy and follow instructions to exercise your arm. Sometimes the pain returns or becomes chronic. While you’re recovering, remember the importance of rest. Sneaking in a round of golf before your elbow heals won’t help you feel better. It will only prolong your recovery.