Is Your Golf Game Causing Elbow Pain?

Elbow pain is a common problem among golfers

Elbow pain is one of the most common problems among golfers, especially those who are relatively new to the sport. This type of pain can have several causes and symptoms that should be addressed in order for golfers to enjoy their game without discomfort. Understanding why elbow pain occurs and how it can be prevented or treated is important for all levels of players.

Statistics on Golfer’s Elbow

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, approximately 40% of all golfers experience some type of elbow pain–known as “golfer’s elbow” or medial epicondylitis–due to overuse. Golfer’s elbow is caused by repetitive strain on the muscles and tendons that attach to the inside of the elbow, which can be aggravated when gripping a golf club during a swing. The inflammation associated with golfer’s elbow can cause stabbing or burning sensations in the area, making it difficult for golfers to properly play their game. Golfers may also experience stiffness in the joint, as well as tenderness and swelling.

Brief Overview of the Causes, Symptoms, and Solutions

Brief Overview:

  • Causes: Poor swing mechanics, overuse injuries, incorrect grip size/style, using an improperly fitted club or old clubs with worn out grips.
  • Symptoms: Pain or tenderness between the wrist and elbow joint when gripping a club; swelling; stiffness; reduced range of motion when swinging the club; difficulty straightening arm after a swing.
  • Solutions: Regular stretching exercises before and after playing golf; warm up correctly prior to each game; use proper technique while swinging clubs (e.g., keep wrists firm); replace worn out equipment regularly; seek professional help if needed for more severe cases of elbow pain.

What is Golfer’s Elbow?

Golfer’s elbow, or medial epicondylitis, is an overuse injury to the muscles and tendons that attach to the inside of the elbow joint. Improper swing mechanics, like gripping a club too tightly or using a grip size that is too small, can cause it. Similarly, using old clubs with worn-out grips, which fail to provide adequate support when swinging, can also lead to this issue. The main symptom of golfer’s elbow is pain or tenderness in the area between the wrist and elbow when gripping a club. Other symptoms include swelling, stiffness in the joint, reduced range of motion when swinging a club, and difficulty straightening arm after a swing.

Tennis Elbow – Another Common Injury for Golfers

In addition to golfer’s elbow, many golfers also suffer from “tennis elbow” or lateral epicondylitis due to improper grip techniques on their clubs. Symptoms include pain radiating from outside of the elbow and forearm up into one’s hand and wrist. Tennis Elbow can also lead to limited range of motion in the arm and weakness in certain muscles associated with gripping activities, such as holding a golf club properly during a swing. Golfers should always use proper form when swinging to prevent this condition. Incorrect grip or swing mechanics causing excessive stress can damage the connective tissue surrounding the elbow joint, potentially leading to tennis elbow.

How to Prevent and Treat Elbow Pain in Golfers

Tips for preventing and treating elbow pain in golfers

  • Warm up properly before playing golf and stretch regularly
  • Use proper technique when swinging a club, keeping wrists firm
  • Ensure your grip is the right size and style for each swing
  • Replace worn out equipment to ensure adequate support while swinging
  • Seek professional help if elbow pain persists or worsens

When to seek medical attention for elbow pain

Golfer’s elbow and tennis elbow are painful conditions impacting golfers. They can often be managed through proper stretching and warm-up techniques. If the pain persists or worsens despite these measures, it is crucial to act. Seeking medical attention as soon as possible is important.

Medical Treatment Options

A chiropractor, orthopedic specialist, or physical therapist can offer treatments like rest, medications, injections, splinting, or surgery for severe cases. Regular doctor checkups for golfers are vital to detect and address potential issues early, preventing serious conditions.

Shock Wave Therapy (Non-Invasive Option):

Dr. Michael Orefice is a leading expert in the use of shockwave therapy for treating golfer’s elbow. Shockwave therapy, a non-invasive medical treatment, uses sound waves to stimulate the affected area, reducing pain, inflammation, and stiffness associated with this condition. He has seen great success in using shockwave therapy to improve range of motion, reduce pain associated with gripping activities and increase blood flow to the area which helps speed up healing. In addition, he often recommends combining this treatment with other treatments such as stretching exercises, and rest for optimal results.

Orthopedic Specialist

If you’re suffering from golfers elbow, an orthopedic specialist can help diagnose and treat your condition. They will assess the injury to determine the severity of your pain and stiffness, as well as any other underlying factors that may be contributing to your discomfort. Depending on the diagnosis, they may recommend treatments such as rest, anti-inflammatory medications or cortisone injections. In more serious cases, surgery may be necessary. An orthopedic specialist can also provide advice on proper stretching exercises and warm-up techniques to help prevent further injuries in the future.

Physical Therapy

Much like Chiropractors or a specialist skilled in the art of shockwave therapy, Physical therapists will typically employ a combination of stretching exercises, strengthening exercises, and massage techniques to help relieve symptoms associated with golfer’s elbow. They may also incorporate heat and cold therapies into their treatment plans in order to further alleviate discomfort caused by this condition. With regular physical therapy sessions combined with proper form while swinging a golf club, individuals suffering from golfer’s elbow can find relief from their symptoms and prevent future episodes of pain.

Let’s Recap

When it comes to preventing and treating elbow pain in golfers, the key points are to warm up properly before playing golf and stretch regularly, use proper technique when swinging a club, ensure your grip is the right size and style for each swing, replace worn out equipment for adequate support while swinging and seek professional help if elbow pain persists or worsens.

Shockwave therapy can be used as a non-invasive option to reduce pain, inflammation and stiffness associated with this condition. You may also consult an orthopedic specialist or physical therapist for further treatment options, including rest, anti-inflammatory medications, or cortisone injections. With regular checkups with a doctor combined with stretching exercises and warm-up techniques prior to playing golf can help prevent episodes of golfer’s elbow from occurring in the future.


If you are interested in learning more about shock wave therapy, you can book an online appointment or call us today!



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