Golfers Elbow

Golfers Elbow

John Miller Physiotherapist

Article by John Miller

Golfers Elbow

Medial Epicondylalgia

What is Golfer’s Elbow?

Golfer’s elbow, also known as medial epicondylalgia, is a common injury that affects the muscles responsible for flexing the wrist and fingers. The injury occurs at the medial epicondyle, a bony bump on the inside of the elbow where these muscles attach.

Golfer’s Elbow Symptoms

The symptoms of golfer’s elbow include pain during gripping tasks, resisted wrist/finger flexion, and overstretching of the affected muscles. Tenderness at the medial epicondyle and trigger points in the wrist flexor muscles may also be present.

Female golfer celebrating golfers elbow treatment success with physiotherapist on course
Female Golfer Back In Action After Golfer Elbow Rehab.

What Causes Golfer’s Elbow?

Excessive force applied to the arm bone’s attachment point at the elbow causes Golfer’s elbow by damaging the muscle tissue. Degenerative tendon tissue changes at the medial epicondyle, not inflammation, link to chronic golfer’s elbow.

How is Golfer’s Elbow Diagnosed?

Your physiotherapist or doctor clinically diagnoses your golfer’s elbow. After listening to your injury history and using some confirmatory clinical tests, they’ll make a provisional diagnosis of Golfer’s Elbow.

Referred pain from a cervical spine injury can mimic golfer’s elbow, so it is important to have the neck and upper limb neurodynamics assessed by an experienced physiotherapist to confirm or exclude any neck dysfunction or neural tension.

An ultrasound scan or MRI are the best tests to identify any tendon tears or inflammation. X-rays are of little diagnostic benefit.

Golfer’s Elbow Treatment

Golfer’s elbow can be challenging to treat due to the tendinopathy component involved. Physiotherapy is effective in the short and long-term management of golfer’s elbow, with treatment options including gentle joint mobilisation, protective strapping, muscle stretches, neural mobilizations, massage, strengthening exercises, and the use of a golfer’s elbow brace. Treatment aims to reduce elbow pain, facilitate tissue repair, restore full joint range and function, ensure adequate muscle length, strength, and movement patterns, and normalize upper limb neurodynamics and cervical joint function.

Untreated chronic golfer’s elbow can last anywhere from six months to two years and can recur, so it is essential to seek the advice of an elbow physiotherapist for diagnosis and treatment options to prevent the condition from becoming chronic. Overall, seeking professional advice and customising the treatment plan to suit the individual’s needs is crucial in the effective management of golfer’s elbow.

Golfers Elbow Brace

golfers ebow

A golfers elbow brace is more commonly referred to as a tennis elbow brace. It can be beneficial. In these instances, the elbow brace will dissipate the stressful gripping forces away from your injured structures.

However, tennis elbow braces do not work in 100% of cases. In our experience, we recommend that you seek physiotherapy assistance in these cases. In stubborn cases, you have a very high likelihood of referred symptoms from your spine or joint position abnormalities within your elbow. Only a thorough examination of your neck, shoulder, elbow and upper limb nerve structures will confirm your diagnosis and direct which treatment options will assist you the quickest.

Please seek the professional advice of your trusted elbow physiotherapist regarding your golfer’s elbow.

Related Articles

  1. Tennis Elbow – Readers will discover in-depth information on tennis elbow, highlighting causes, symptoms, and effective treatment options.
  2. Elbow Pain – This article provides insights into various elbow pain causes, including golfer’s and tennis elbow, and their management.
  3. Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) – Offers information on common wrist and elbow injuries, including golfer’s elbow, and discusses management strategies.
  4. Soft Tissue Injury Healing – Explains the phases of injury healing and how physiotherapy can improve outcomes, relevant to golfer’s elbow recovery.
  5. Arm Pain – Discusses common causes of arm pain, including golfer’s elbow, and offers insights into diagnosis and treatment.
  6. Tennis Elbow Strap – Golfers Elbow Relief – Though focused on tennis elbow, it provides insights into elbow braces which can be beneficial for golfer’s elbow sufferers.
  7. Post-Operative Rehabilitation – While not directly related to golfer’s elbow, it discusses the importance of physiotherapy in recovery, which could be useful for severe cases requiring surgery.
  8. Rowing Injuries Prevention And Management Tips – Includes general tips for injury prevention and management that could be applied to golfer’s elbow.

Elbow Pain Causes, Diagnosis, and Effective Physiotherapy Management


Elbow pain, a common ailment affecting people of all ages, can disrupt daily activities and diminish quality of life. This article, informed by physiotherapist insights, explores the various causes of elbow pain, emphasising the importance of early diagnosis, accurate assessment, and tailored physiotherapy interventions.

Understanding Elbow Pain

Elbow pain can stem from various sources, ranging from tendinopathy to nerve compression. Identifying the root cause is key to selecting the most effective treatment.

Elbow Pain Causes
Elbow Pain Causes

Common Elbow Pain Causes

Tennis Elbow and Golfer's Elbow:

Tennis Elbow and Golfer's Elbow, caused by overuse or strain of the elbow tendons, are prevalent among athletes and those engaging in repetitive arm movements. More info: Tennis Elbow, Golfer Elbow.

Olecranon Bursitis:

Olecranon Bursitis is inflammation of the bursa near the elbow joint leads to pain and swelling.

Youth Elbow Pain:

Conditions like Thrower's Elbow and Little League Elbow are common in young athletes due to repetitive stress. More info: Youth Arm Pain

Neck-Related Arm Pain:

Issues in the neck, like Cervical Radiculopathy or Neck Arm Syndrome can manifest as elbow pain.

Muscle-Related Pain:

Muscle strains and repetitive strain injuries (RSI) often present as elbow discomfort.

Medical Conditions:

Stress fractures, fibromyalgia, and various types of arthritis can also lead to elbow pain.

Recent Research Insights

Recent studies highlight the effectiveness of targeted physiotherapy in treating elbow pain. Techniques such as manual therapy, specific exercises, and other therapies have shown promising results in reducing pain and improving function.

The Role of Physiotherapy in Treating Elbow Pain

Physiotherapy plays a crucial role in the management of elbow pain, focusing on alleviating discomfort and restoring normal function.

Key Physiotherapy Interventions

  1. Personalised Exercise Programs: Tailored exercises to strengthen and stretch the affected muscles.
  2. Manual Therapy: Hands-on techniques to improve joint mobility and reduce pain.
  3. Pain Management: Use of modalities like ice, heat, and ultrasound to manage pain and inflammation.
  4. Education and Advice: Guidance on activity modification and ergonomics to prevent recurrence.

The Importance of Early Intervention

Early physiotherapy intervention can prevent the progression of symptoms and facilitate a quicker return to daily activities.

When to Seek Professional Advice

Consult a physiotherapist or doctor if you experience persistent or worsening elbow pain. They can conduct a comprehensive assessment and develop a personalised treatment plan.

What to Do?

If you're experiencing elbow pain:

  1. Rest: Avoid activities that exacerbate the pain.
  2. Apply Ice: To reduce swelling and pain.
  3. Seek Professional Help: A physiotherapist can provide expert advice and treatment.


Elbow pain, though common, can be effectively managed with physiotherapy. Understanding the cause, seeking early treatment, and adhering to a personalised care plan are vital for a successful recovery.

For more detailed information on elbow pain causes and treatments, visit PhysioWorks, where you can find resources and professional advice tailored to your condition.

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