Golfer's elbow

Golfer's elbow is a condition that causes pain on the inner side of your elbow, where the tendons of your forearm muscles attach to the bony bump on the inside of your elbow. The pain may spread into your forearm and wrist.

Golfer's elbow is similar to tennis elbow. But it occurs on the inside, rather than the outside, of your elbow. And it's not limited to golfers. Tennis players and others who repeatedly use their wrists or clench their fingers also can develop golfer's elbow.

The pain of golfer's elbow doesn't have to keep you off the course or away from your favorite activities. With rest and appropriate treatment, you can get back into the swing of things.

Symptoms Causes Risk factors Complications Prevention

Golfer's elbow is characterized by:

  • Pain and tenderness on the inner side of your elbow. Sometimes the pain extends along the inner side of your forearm.
  • Stiffness. Your elbow may feel stiff, and it may hurt to make a fist.
  • Weakness. You may have weakness in your hands and wrists.
  • Numbness or tingling. Many people with golfer's elbow experience numbness or a tingling sensation that radiates into one or more fingers — usually the ring and little fingers.

The pain of golfer's elbow may appear suddenly or gradually. The pain may get worse when you:

  • Swing a golf club or racket
  • Squeeze or pitch a ball
  • Shake hands
  • Turn a doorknob
  • Lift weights
  • Pick up something with your palm down
  • Flex your wrist

When to see a doctor

Consult your doctor if rest, ice and over-the-counter pain relievers don't ease your elbow pain and tenderness. Seek immediate care if:

  • Your elbow is hot and inflamed and you have a fever
  • You can't bend your elbow
  • Your elbow looks deformed
  • You suspect you've broken a bone

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