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Golfer’s Elbow

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Golfer’s elbow is a condition in which you experience pain where the tendons of your forearm muscles attach to the bony bump on the inside of your wrist. You may also feel pain into your forearm and wrist.

Despite its name, this condition doesn’t exclusively affect golfers — tennis players and others who repeatedly use their wrists or clench their fingers are also susceptible to golfer’s elbow.

Symptoms of this condition include:

  • Difficulty making a fist
  • Numbness or tingling in the ring or little fingers
  • Pain and tenderness on the inner side of the elbow, typically worsening with certain movements (such as swinging a golf club or tennis racket, shaking hands, or turning a doorknob)
  • Stiffness in your elbow
  • Weakness in your hands and wrists


Physical examination
Your doctor will conduct a complete physical examination and collect your health history to help make the diagnosis.

Your doctor may order an X-ray to rule out other possible causes of your elbow pain, like a fracture or arthritis.


You should avoid physical activity that involves that arm while the golfer’s elbow heals.

Apply ice packs to your affected elbow for 15 to 20 minutes, three to four times a day for several days.

Pain medication
Your doctor may recommend you take an over-the-counter pain medication – such as Motrin, Aleve, or Tylenol – to help manage related pain.

Your specialist may recommend you wear a counterforce brace on the affected arm, which can help reduce tendon and muscle strain.

Physical therapy
Your health care provider may prescribe rehabilitation therapy. Our physical therapists establish a unique plan of care that includes specific interventions for your condition and situation to help alleviate pain and improve mobility.

If your golfer’s elbow doesn’t respond to more conservative treatments, your sports medicine doctor may recommend surgery to correct the problem. However, surgery is rarely needed for this condition.

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