Golfers Elbow or Tennis Elbow

Ouch That Hurts!  Have you ever felt a sharp pain in your elbow while playing golf.  It usually happens when making contact with the ball.  When the pain is noticeable, some start to adjust their swing; change their grip; avoid sand shots; or use more foot wedges to place the ball on soft grass.  As avid golfer continues to hit the links, they find the pain creeping into their everyday life.  It becomes difficult to grasp anything with the affected arm, difficulty rolling your hand left to right and it sometimes aches.  If this sounds familiar, well then you may have Golfers Elbow.  Or do you? states that: the elbow is subjected to large forces during a golf swing, especially an amateur golf swing, statistics indicate elbow complaints range from PGA circuit rate of 4% to amateur golfers 24% (includes both medial and lateral complaints in right and left elbows). The most common site of injuries is not on the “inside” – (medial aspect) of the elbow which has the name “golfers elbow”, but on the “outside” – (llateral aspect), traditionally termed “tennis elbow”.  Regardless of the definition, ultimately only a medical professionals can diagnose your problem.

Golfers Elbow – medial aspect
Tennis Elbow – lateral aspect

If you have a what you suspect is golfers / tennis elbow, the Mayo Clinic suggests the conservative measures such as:

  • See a doctor.
  • Rest.
  • Ice the affected area.
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever.
  • Stretch and strengthen the affected area.
  • Reduce the load on your elbow.
  • Consider other medications. I
  • Gradually return to your usual activities.
  • Ask your doctor when surgery is appropriate.

I have had, by the definition above, tennis elbow a couple of times through the years.  It is not fun.  It usually lasts about 2-3 months once I start to take care of the injury.  To make sure it was nothing serious, I saw my doctor for diagnosis.  Each time, my doctor suggested the Mayo Clinics conservative treatment.

After some research, it becomes difficult to figure out what caused the injury.  It definitely has something to do with your swing or maybe the amount of golfing you are doing.  In my case it the amount of golf (which is not really a bad thing to me) played.  However, some suggest it may be your grip, downswing, follow through, contact point, angle of contact and on and on!  Obviously, fixing your golf swing over the internet is almost impossible, so if the pain continues (besides seeing a doctor) talk to your local pro.  There is a very good chance they can help.

There is one aspect of pain relief that worked very well for me.  As suggested in the above video, it was a tensor bandage.  I used (use) a tensor cuff with a velcro strap to snug it around my elbow.  An important point for my success was that the tensor cuff had a gel square sewn into it. it. I placed the gel on my injured area (as shown above) and tighten it slightly.  I found with this support, I played pain-free and helped promote recovery.

Golfers / Tennis elbow is a pain (sorry I could not help myself).  It is a common injury that does effect all aspects of your game.  It is important to address it quickly so it does not linger for an entire season.  Just to be clear, I am not a medical professional and it is important to see your doctor before you start any medical treatment.

I am a grateful golfer!  See you on the links!



7 thoughts on “Golfers Elbow or Tennis Elbow

  1. Pingback: Preventing Golf Injuries Early In Your Golf Season | The Grateful Golfer

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  3. I have had tennis elbow, when I played a lot of squash. The pain that gets me in golf is from a sciatic nerve, which is literally a pain in the butt. You just never know went it is suddenly going to hit.


  4. Jim, great subject that hits home personally. I’ve got tennis elbow in both elbows but fortunately it hasn’t flared simultaneously. I’m fairly certain I injured the first (left) lifting free weights and have since eliminated all weights from my workouts. Treating with the brace and plenty of Advil during the playing season has helped but not totally solved the issue. Right now it’s more of a maintenance thing but is definitely a hindrance. Thanks! Brian


    • Brian

      I completely understand. I, however, still use weights in my work out, not that you can tell…haha. I have had tennis elbow a couple times and normally using a brace and advil gets rid of the problem. Like you, it works. Thanks for the comment.



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