Golfer’s Elbow Treatment: Basic Exercises You Should Know

Golfer’s Elbow Treatment: Basic Exercises You Should Know
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As its name suggests, a golfer’s elbow is a painful injury that often occurs in people who play golf. However, it can also happen to anyone who engages in similar activities, such as tennis or jobs that require manual labor. Like many sports-related injuries, the worst part about a golfer’s elbow is that it can go away only to come back at a later time, and the pain can be debilitating. That is why you must get the proper treatment for golfer’s elbow, which typically includes rest and a disciplined physical therapy routine.

What Causes Golfer’s Elbow

What Causes Golfers Elbow

In most cases, a golfer’s elbow is caused by irritation and micro-tearing of the tendons that attach to the inside of the elbow and forearm. This can result in pain, inflammation, and tenderness in the area. 

This condition is caused by overuse and wear and tear from repetitive gripping activities that require wrist flexion. That is why we often see this condition with golfers and tennis players, but it is also known to affect weightlifters and throwing athletes. 

Golfer’s Elbow Exercises

While you should definitely seek treatment from a physical therapist if you think you are suffering from a golfer’s elbow or tennis elbow, we have provided you with a list of exercises and stretches to help alleviate your symptoms. The following, combined with activity modification, will help reduce pain and inflammation, increase blood flow, and improve the flexibility and strength of the involved tendons. 

When performing tennis elbow exercises initially, it is normal to experience slight discomfort. If you do experience a worsening of your symptoms, stop the exercises and allow yourself to rest. 

If you wonder how to fix a tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow, try the following exercises at home.

Isometric Wrist Flexion

  1. Begin seated near the edge of a table with the palm facing up towards the ceiling. 
  2. Use a light weight (2-5 lbs.) or your opposite hand for resistance.
  3. Maintaining a neutral wrist, use the affected hand to press upwards toward the ceiling without moving the wrist into flexion. 
  4. Contract for 10 seconds. 
  5. Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions. 

Eccentric Wrist Flexion

  1. Begin seated near the edge of a table with the palm facing up towards the ceiling. 
  2. Use a light weight (2-5 lbs.) for resistance.
  3. Use the opposite hand to assist the affected wrist into full flexion.
  4. Slowly (3-5 seconds) lower the affected wrist into full extension. 
  5. Perform​ 3 sets of 15 repetitions. 

Forearm Stretch 1

  1. Stand near the edge of a table. 
  2. Place the palm of your hand flat on the table with your fingers facing back towards your body.
  3. Press the palm of your hand into the table. 
  4. Use your body weight to move forward and back over the wrist to stretch your forearm.
  5. Perform 3 sets of 12-15 repetitions or statically hold for 30 seconds. 

Forearm Stretch 2 

  1. Sit or stand with the affected elbow extended directly in front of your face with the palm facing up. 
  2. Use the opposite hand to pull the wrist and fingers into extension.
  3. Perform 3 sets of 12-15 repetitions or statically hold for 30 seconds.

Summary

If you are suffering from a tennis elbow or a golfer’s elbow, you must take the time to rest and recover properly at home. This can be vital to making sure you rehabilitate properly and return to the game at full strength. By incorporating elbow stretches into your routine, you can significantly improve your condition and even help prevent it so that the pain doesn’t reoccur in the future. However, keep in mind that if your pain worsens or does not subside with conservative management, consult a healthcare professional for additional tennis elbow treatment options.

At USA Sports Therapy, our professional team of physical therapists and athletic trainers are highly qualified to help with golfer’s elbow so that you can manage the pain and prevent its recurrence. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and get started with your treatment plan.

Dr. Kevin Mills

Dr. Kevin Mills is a board-certified orthopedic physical therapist (OCS). He holds a Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree from the University of Miami, where he graduated with honors in 2009. Dr. Mills is specialized in advanced physical therapy and manual therapy techniques, as well as the treatment of chronic pain.

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