Golfers Elbow (Medial Epicondylitis): Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

In this video, Airrosti’s Travis Owens, DC discusses the mechanics, causes, and symptoms of medial epicondylitis (more commonly known as Golfer’s elbow). He also discusses the traditional treatment options for this injury, and how Airrosti’s approach is different — typically leading to complete injury resolution in as few as 3 visits (based on patient-reported outcomes).


Golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis) is a condition that causes pain and inflammation in the tendons that connect the upper arm to the elbow. It’s an injury to the wrist flexors (the muscles that flex your wrist and fingers). The pain centers on the bony bump on the inside of your elbow (medial epicondyle) and may radiate into the forearm.

It’s very similar to the far more common tennis elbow, which occurs on the outside of the elbow. Both are forms of tendonitis.


Despite the name, you don’t have to be a golfer to suffer from this condition. It’s usually caused by overusing the forearm muscles that allow you to grip, rotate your arm, and flex your wrist. Any repetitive flexing, gripping, or swinging (such as swinging a golf club) can cause pulls or tiny tears in the tendons.

Those most at risk are individuals who regularly participate in sports, such as tennis, bowling, and baseball. People may also get it from using tools like screwdrivers and hammers, raking, or even painting.

You may be at a higher risk of developing this condition if you’re 40 years or older and perform a repetitive activity multiple times a day for at least two hours. Additionally, individuals who are smokers or who are overweight may be at an increased risk.


Golfer’s elbow is characterized by pain and tenderness on the inside (medial side) of your elbow. The pain may extend along the inner side of your forearm and typically worsens with certain movements.

Symptoms of medial epicondylitis also include:

  • Stiff elbow joints; it may hurt to make a fist
  • Weakness in the hands and wrists
  • Numbness or a tingling sensation radiating into one or more fingers
  • Difficulty completing everyday activities involving the elbows and wrists, such as picking up items, opening a door, or giving a handshake
  • Typically, medial epicondylitis affects the dominant arm


Medial elbow pain is usually treated with a combination of icing and rest, along with anti-inflammatory medications. A steroid injection to reduce pain and swelling may be recommended if more conservative treatment is not effective. A tennis elbow brace may be prescribed to help take the strain off the tendon. Physical therapy, including prescribed stretching and strengthening exercises, may be needed to fully restore strength and range of motion to the injured elbow.

Traditional treatment is most often successful. However, the most important element in traditional care is tendon rest. Depending on how severe your condition is, you may need to rest your tendon for weeks to months. Failure to seek proper medical care may result in the injury becoming chronic, which is much more difficult to treat.


When pain in the wrist, arm or elbow occurs, it can make performing every tasks extremely difficult. Athletes and active individuals can be severely impacted by the downtime associated with traditional recovery from this soft tissue injury.

As an alternative to long periods of rest and recovery, many individuals suffering from golfer’s elbow turn to care from Airrosti. Airrosti can help dramatically speed recovery and provide immediate pain relief, without drugs or injections. Most patients are able to return to normal activity within only 1-3 visits, based on patient-reported outcomes.

Reviewed by Casey Crisp, Doctor of Chiropractic

Disclaimer: Always consult with your doctor before starting any exercise program. If you experience any numbness, tingling or reproduction of your symptoms, please contact your doctor.


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