Back to Home page

Golfer's Elbow

'What is golfer's elbow (medial epicondylitis)?'

Golfer's elbow (medial epicondylitis) refers to an inflammation or tendonitis of the common flexor tendon at the inside of the elbow (medial epicondyle of the humerus). Tendonitis simply means inflammation (-itis) of a tendon or tendons.

'What are golfer's elbow (medial epicondylitis) symptoms'

Golfer's elbow (medial epicondylitis) symptoms are most commonly pain and weakness at the inside of the elbow, especially upon gripping or wrist flexion.

'What causes golfer's elbow (medial epicondylitis)?'

Golfer's elbow (medial epicondylitis) is caused by an overuse of or trauma to the finger flexor muscles and/or wrist flexor muscles. Golfer's elbow is most often brought on by an underlying flexor vs. extensor imbalance due to poor elbow muscle training techniques in sports, music or in the workplace. Flexor tendons are open to injury when they shortened (imbalanced compared to their extensor counterparts) and lacking in proper blood flow.

Finger flexor muscle tone vs. finger extensor muscle tone contributes to elbow joint stability. The imbalance of the finger muscle ratio (flexor vs. extensor) is a vital, yet overlooked, factor in both golfer's and tennis elbow.

9 muscles close the hand and 9 muscles open the hand. These muscles originate equally on the front and back of the elbow. Dominant finger flexor (closing) muscles (resulting from repetitive gripping, grasping and finger flexion activities) result in elbow imbalance. Shortened finger flexor muscles lack blood flow and are prone to injury. The same hand muscle imbalance leads to carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow and DeQuervain's Syndrome.

Wrist flexor vs. wrist extensor muscle ratios must also be balanced in order to stabilize the elbow and prevent both golfer's elbow and tennis elbow.

Golfer's Elbow Treatment/Golfer's Elbow Exercise

Golfer's elbow exercises using the Handmaster Plus (see distributors) (Or Buy Now) should be included as part of all golfer's elbow treatment protocols. The best golfer's elbow treatment is prevention ("prehabilitation"), using the Handmaster Plus regularly where red-flagged repetitive gripping/grasping activities exist. Handmaster Plus offers a specific exercise (see exercise #2) for both golfer's and tennis elbow pre- and rehabilitation.

Experts in the treatment golfer's elbow are the practitioners of ART (active release technique) and Graston Technique. They are generally convenient to locate in North America through practitioner searches. Otherwise, contact your local chiropractic, physiotherapy or massage therapy associations.

Drugs or surgery, such as steroid injections and golfer's elbow surgery, should be considered only as a last resort, and are rarely necessary.