Golfer’s elbow is pain and inflammation on the inner side of your elbow, where the tendons of your forearm muscles attach to the bony bump on the inside of your elbow. The pain may spread into your forearm and wrist.
Golfer’s elbow — also known as medial epicondylitis — is similar to tennis elbow. But it occurs on the inside — rather than the outside — of your elbow. And it’s not limited to golfers. Tennis players and others who repeatedly use their wrists or clench their fingers also can develop golfer’s elbow.
The pain of golfer’s elbow doesn’t have to keep you off the course or away from your favorite activities. With rest and appropriate treatment, you can get back into the swing of things.
Golfer’s elbow is caused by damage to the muscles and tendons that control your wrist and fingers. The damage is typically related to excess or repetitive stress — especially forceful wrist and finger motions. Sometimes golfer’s elbow begins after a sudden force to the elbow or wrist.
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.