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Causes and Symptoms of Golfer's Elbow

By Madhusudhan Tammisetti

Medial epicondylitis is the medical term for golfer's elbow, and it's a type of tendonitis or tendon inflammation. Golfer's elbow includes the tendons that connect the muscles of your forearm to the bony knob inside your elbow.

One of the common golf-related injuries is the golfer's elbow, although it's not restricted to golfers. Often at risk are those who engage in throwing sports or repeatedly using the same arm movements and fist clenching. The golfer's elbow is sometimes mistaken with the tennis elbow when the pain develops on the elbow's outer portion.


Repetitive motion or overuse is the leading cause of tendonitis, such as golfer's elbow. This constantly strains the forearm's muscles and tendons, and over time, it results in wear and tear. Your tendons steadily weaken as you age and become less flexible. This leaves them more vulnerable to injuries.

The repeated wrist motions and finger clenching in golf are the major reasons that cause golfer's elbow. Similar movements in sports that involve throwing may also trigger it. Jobs that involve repetitive motion, particularly those that use force, such as carpentry or plumbing, may often increase the risk of golfer's elbow.

Poor conditioning or missing your warm-up may also trigger the golfer's elbow because the muscles and tendons are not given enough time to work under stress.


The pain and tightness you experience at the common flexor tendon are the common symptoms of golfer's elbow. This tightness may be the related muscles' global tightness or may appear as myofascial trigger points. The pain may be isometric, eccentric, or concentric contraction that normally occurs when the common flexor tendon's muscles contract.

Medial epicondylitis induces pain that may radiate through the forearm from the elbow's inner side. The pain may be minimal at first, but it gets worse with time. Golfer's elbow may result in a loosening of grip strength. The pain gets worse when you do an activity that involves forearm muscles. You may experience pain when you touch the inner elbow's bony knob.

Epicondylitis may affect the ulnar nerve that goes from the neck to the arm and into the hand. Swelling and irritation at the nerve may result in compression that may lead to ulnar nerve entrapment symptoms. Weakness in the wrist, elbow stiffness, numbness, and tingling in little and ring fingers are some of the golfer's elbow symptoms.

Golfer's elbow would usually not heal up on its own, but if you have inside elbow pain or grip weakening that persists for longer than a few weeks, you may have to consult a chiropractor. Your chiropractor may assess the disorder correctly and recommend some precautionary measures such as taking adequate rest and applying heat or ice packs that may effectively relieve the pain.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Las Vegas, Nev.

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