Golfer’s Elbow

What is Golfer’s Elbow

Golfer’s Elbow is typically an overuse condition defined by pain in the tendon-bone interface located at the inner side of your elbow joint. This condition may not only affect golfers but also people who perform repetitive tasks with their hands like mechanics, homemakers or sportspeople like tennis, badminton players or bowlers.

Golfer’s Elbow can present in 2 stages:

Early (inflammatory stage)

  • Pain comes after repetitive activity, gets better with rest shortly but keeps coming back

Late (degenerative stage)

  • Persistent pain during activity/play, usually worse after
  • Pain during day-to-day activities like opening a jar, brushing teeth
  • Eventually could be severe enough to stop you from activity/playing

What causes a Golfer’s Elbow?

Golfer’s Elbow is caused by overusing this group of forearm muscles, called the wrist flexor-pronator group. As the tendons of these muscles all connect to a common point in the elbow (medial epicondyle), the load to this common point is tremendous when it undergoes repeated or excessive stress. Without sufficient rest or rehabilitation, there is breakdown in the tissue in the tendon over time. The result is a state whereby the tendon is unable to tolerate load from daily use, resulting in persistent pain.

How do I know if I have a Golfer’s Elbow?

Pressure over the prominent bony bump located along the inner side of the elbow is usually tender. If you feel pain gripping, opening a jar or wringing dry your towel, you may be having this problem.

How physiotherapy can help

Depending on the stage of the disorder, physiotherapists will be able to customise a program and guide you in the management of your elbow pain. Treatment usually involves strengthening, massage and sometimes ultrasonic therapy to facilitate pain relief. Strengthening exercise is the backbone of physiotherapy treatment for golfer’s elbow. It is crucial that you follow through the program for optimal result. In addition, you may be advised on activity modification along with exercise prescription.