What Is Golfer's Elbow?

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Golfer’s elbow, also known as medial epicondylitis, occurs when small tears develop in the tendons of your elbow. This injury is usually caused by overusing the muscles in the forearm or by using poor form during sports such as golf, racquet sports, weight training or baseball and other throwing sports.

Twisting the wrist too much can also lead to golfer's elbow. This is why you may be more likely to develop golfer’s elbow if you are a:

  • Painter
  • Plumber
  • Construction worker
  • Cook
  • Assembly-line worker

Some of the more common symptoms of golfer’s elbow include:

  • Pain along the inside of your forearm from your elbow to your wrist. This pain is usually on the same side of the arm as your pinkie finger.
  • Pain when flexing your wrist when your palm is face down.
  • Pain when your shake hands with someone.
  • A weak grip.
  • Numbness and tingling that runs from your elbow into your pinkie and ring fingers.
  • Pain that gets worse when you grasp things or flex your wrist.

Treatment at Penn

If your doctor thinks you may have golfer’s elbow, she will first conduct a physical exam. Your doctor will have you move your fingers, hand and wrist to check for pain and tenderness. They may also request x-rays to rule out other potential causes of your symptoms.

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