Golfer’s elbow, or medial epicondylitis, is similar to its counterpart, tennis elbow. The primary differences between these conditions are the location of the pain and the activity that leads to injury. However, both conditions are caused by overuse of the muscles and tendons of the forearm, leading to inflammation and pain around the elbow joint.
What causes golfers elbow?
The mechanism of this injury can vary from a single violent action to, more commonly, repetitive stress injury where an action is performed repeatedly and pain gradually develops. No one is immune from these injuries, but they are most common at the beginning of the golf season, or when the offending activity is increased in intensity or duration. Golf is one common cause of these symptoms, but many other sport- and work-related activities can cause the same problem. Another common cause of this injury is with weekend carpenters who use hand tools on occasion.
Many activities can lead to golfer’s elbow, including:
- 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.
- Weight training. Lifting weights using improper technique, such as curling the wrists during a biceps exercise, can lead to overload of the elbow muscles and tendons.
- Other activities. Painting, raking, hammering, chopping wood, typing and other repetitive wrist, hand or arm movements can result in golfer’s elbow as well.
What are the Symptoms for Golfer’s Elbow?
Pain is the most common and obvious symptom associated with golfers elbow. Pain is most often experienced on the inside of the upper forearm, but can also be experienced anywhere from the elbow joint to the wrist.
Weakness, stiffness and a general restriction of movement are also quite common in sufferers of golfers elbow. Even tingling and numbness can be experienced.
Golfer’s Elbow Specialist
Dr Kevin Yip, Orthopaedic & Elbow Specialist