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


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In this video, Airrosti’s Travis Owens, DC discusses the mechanics, causes, and symptoms of medial epicondylitis (golfer’s elbow). He also discusses the traditional treatment options for this injury and how Airrosti’s approach is different.


Medial epicondylitis, also known as golfer’s elbow, is a condition that causes pain and inflammation in the tendons that connect the upper arm to the elbow. Golfer’s elbow is a result of overuse and causes pain on the inside of your elbow. This pain can also spread to your forearm.

Golfer's Elbow Causes

While there can be numerous causes of golfer’s elbow or other elbow pain, the common ones include:

  • Repetitive Movements:
    • Engaging in repetitive activities that involve gripping, flexing, or swinging of the wrist and forearm, such as in golf swings, can contribute to golfer’s elbow.
  • Improper Technique:
    • Using incorrect techniques while performing activities that stress the forearm muscles, like improper golf swing mechanics or tennis strokes, can lead to increased strain on the tendons and the development of a golfer’s elbow.
    • Poor form and technique during such activities contribute to the overuse and stress on the inner elbow.
  • Overuse:
    • Overexertion and inadequate rest between activities that strain the forearm muscles can lead to overuse injuries, including golfer’s elbow.
Man with Elbow Pain

The symptoms of golfer's elbow

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 repetitive movements.

Symptoms of medial epicondylitis also include:

  • Elbow joint stiffness
  • Weakness in the hands and wrists
  • Numbness or a tingling sensation radiating into one or more fingers
  • Problems doing regular tasks with the elbows and wrists, like grabbing things, opening doors, or shaking hands.

WHAT ARE THE RISK FACTORS for golfer's elbow?

Your risk of developing golfer’s elbow may depend on the following:

  •  Age:
    • Individuals between the ages of 30 and 50 are more susceptible to golfer’s elbow, as the tendons may become less flexible and more prone to injury with age.
  • Occupation and Activities:
    • Jobs or activities that involve repetitive hand and wrist movements, gripping, or forceful flexion of the forearm increase the risk. This includes professions like carpentry or activities such as using hand tools.
  • Sports Participation:
    • Athletes participating in sports like golf, tennis, weightlifting, or other activities that involve repetitive arm movements are at a higher risk of developing golfer’s elbow.
Man Receiving Golfer's Elbow Treatment


Treatment plans for medial elbow pain involve a combination of rest, icing, and anti-inflammatory medications. Your doctor may recommend a steroid injection to reduce inflammation and pain if more conservative treatment is not effective. You can also use an elbow brace to help reduce tendon strain.

Physical therapy can stretch and strengthen muscles and joints and improve movement in the affected area.

Failure to seek proper medical care may result in the injury becoming more severe or chronic, which can be more difficult to treat. It is important to seek treatment as elbow conditions can be hard to distinguish, and a proper diagnosis is key to recovery.

Woman Golfing

HOW AIRROSTI CAN HELP: Golfer's elbow diagnosis and treatment

Injuries like golfer’s elbow can severely impact athletes and active individuals, keeping them from doing the activities they love.

If you are seeking elbow pain treatment, schedule an appointment with Airrosti today!

Airrosti treatment can resolve most injuries, often in an average of three visits (based on patient-reported outcomes). To suit your schedule, Airrosti offers both in-clinic and telehealth options.

For more information, call us at (800) 404-6050.

Read our Medical Disclaimer here.

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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