What is golfer’s elbow & how can you prevent it?

Once the calendar strikes March, a new page is turned. It’s the month where we can see warmer, sunny days, gain an extra hour of light and when we can finally celebrate spring! Sure there are some days with snow, but let’s focus on the fun stuff. Warm weather is coming, which means outdoor sports are about to begin!

In the past two years, golf has become more popular than ever. Since COVID put a stop to indoor recreation, sports lovers took it outside and many people tried their hand at golf. That being said, during this time we’ve seen a huge rise in golfer’s elbow injuries. What exactly is golfer’s elbow and how can it be prevented?

Medically speaking, golfer’s elbow is called medial epicondylitis, which is the type of pain that you feel on the inside of your elbow where the tendons in your forearms attach. Often, symptoms include pain and tenderness at that point in your elbow, stiffness of the joint, tingling or numbness, swelling and even numbness or tingling down into your ring or pinky fingers.

Just because you don’t golf, doesn’t mean you can’t get golfer’s elbow! When a person repetitively moves their wrist and clenches their hands, it causes the muscles in the forearm to continuously contract. The repetition with weaker forearms poses an increased risk of golfer’s elbow. This is common among athletes who do resistance training or weight training, other sports like tennis or racquetball, and those who work as an electrician, in construction or plumbing, which are repeatedly using these movements on a daily basis. 

So, how can you prevent golfer’s elbow? Like any injury, it’s important to strengthen the areas that support it! Light stretching and strengthening exercises for your forearm are key! Try to do this each day or before you engage in these activities to help minimize the potential for injury.

If it’s a bit too late, don’t worry! Our clinicians are here to help! Advanced Sports Medicine and Physical Therapy can get you on track to feeling course-ready through a physical therapy program in our office and at home. Call and schedule your appointment today to get started and be sure to rest and ice the area if you are in pain!