Golfer’s Elbow – Treatment and Prevention

How to Deal With Golfer’s Elbow

Golfer’s elbow is a common injury among golfers. For those that suffer from the injury, there are a few options regarding treatment. Visiting a doctor should be a priority to seek medical expertise. Self treatment includes rest and ice combined with light wrist flexion exercises.

Pain on the inside of the elbow is associated from golfer’s elbow while pain on the outside is known as tennis elbow.


Anti-inflammatory medications are regularly used to control pain and inflammation. Applying ice or heat is also recommended to help control pain and inflammation. Cortisone injections are sometimes used in addition to other treatments.

Stretching and exercises are beneficial in controlling the symptoms of golfer’s elbow. Wait until the area is healed before beginning any exercise program. Experiencing pain will potentially prolong the recovery time.

Friction therapy and deep massage are also effective. This option involves an individual applying pressure to a specific area of the arm followed by a massage to the upper arm and forearm to maximize blood circulation. If there is a tingling sensation down the forearm switch the location due to hitting a nerve.


One of the best ways to avoid golfer’s elbow is to strengthen the forearm muscles and try to minimize the shock from the club hitting the turf. The following exercises will help build forearm muscles and avoid golfer’s elbow.

Squeeze a ball. This is a simple exercise that will strengthen forearm muscles. Perform the exercise for a few minutes and switch hands. Any small object such as a tennis ball or even a stress reliever is effective for this forearm exercise. This is an easy exercise that can be done while sitting on the couch.

Wrist curls are commonly used to strengthen the forearm. Use a lightweight dumbbell and lower the dumbbell to the end of your fingers and then curl the weight back to your palm. Continue lifting the dumbbell toward the wrist. Reverse the wrist curls for an additional exercise. Again, use a light dumbbell. Extend your arm forward with your palm down and the dumbbell in your hand. Using your wrist, lift the weight up and down. Place your other hand on the arm performing the reverse wrist curl for support. Avoid moving your arm during the exercise.

Golf Lessons

Evaluate your golf swing. Schedule an appointment with a golf professional to determine if your equipment or swing is the cause of golfer’s elbow. Many amateurs create unnecessary movements throughout their swing, which could cause an overuse injury. Changing the motion you swing the club could help prevent a future injury such as golfer’s elbow or another more serious injury waiting to happen.

Matt Keller, PGA

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    • Ledley King on March 14, 2013 at 7:43 pm
    • Reply

    Tiny foot long muscles all intertwined can stop match play!

    According to wikipedia, they are “several muscles.. [that] come together in a common tendinous sheath” that connect to the elbow. One concern though is the cause is apoptosis (slang for cell’s no longer choosing life!) – it is curious that stretch and progressive strength in the said muscles actually encourages regeneration of the tissue.

    Per the same article, its interesting that most people who have the condition have never touched a club, so it could be that someone who might develop the problem has its onset ‘hastened’ by their golf practice.

    Anywho, forearm curls are great- using a dumbbell, focusing on the forearm, twisting upward (or downward if you alter the hand position). You can also do a similar thing with a barbell (focuses on both forearms)
    You just need to be careful about gravity and tension on the wrist bones.

    The promise of the nature of the injury is that it heals on its own (generally) with rest. The use of Tylenol or advil will help, but some newer discoveries have shown that not only do they do what’s been expected – they interact with nerve cell communication to pain signals, so you don’t feel the generated pain signals from the muscle- but they do something also unexpected – the tylenol and pain relief medication also interact with the site of recuperation itself. So the main idea is sin some cases, it might be best to not take anything and to leave the site alone for a while. This could be one of the many instances where simply just letting Nature do what it will (and resting, rather than medicating and ignoring the injury) just makes it worse. With rest, ice, forearm curls (this will really do it), you should be good to go (the articles suggest!)

  1. Hello Keller,
    Here are you discuss a wonderful tips and tricks to remove the tennis elbow pain. Thanks for your supportive information.

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