Golfer's elbow, also known as medial epicondylitis, is caused by damage to the muscles and tendons that control your wrist and fingers. The damage is typically related to excess or repetitive stress — especially forceful wrist and finger motions. Improper lifting, throwing or hitting, as well as too little warm-up or poor conditioning, also can contribute to Golfer's elbow.
Many activities can lead to golfer's elbow, including:
Oct. 09, 2012
- Golf. Gripping or swinging the clubs incorrectly can take a toll on your muscles and tendons.
- Racket sports. Excessive topspin can hurt your elbow. Using a racket that's too small or heavy also can lead to injury.
- Throwing sports. Improper pitching technique in baseball or softball can be another culprit. Football, archery and javelin throwing also can cause golfer's elbow.
- Weight training. Lifting weights using improper technique, such as curling the wrists during a biceps exercise, can lead to overload of the elbow muscles and tendons.
- Other activities. Any activity that causes you to repeatedly bend and straighten your elbow can cause golfer's elbow. This includes activities such as painting, raking, hammering, chopping wood, using a computer, doing assembly-line work and cooking. A day or two of yardwork or cooking for company usually won't cause golfer's elbow, though. The activity generally needs to be done for more than an hour a day on many days to cause a problem.
- Jayanthi N. Epicondylitis (tennis and golf elbow). http://www.uptodate.com/ index. Accessed Aug. 23, 2012.
- Longo DL, et al, eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=4. Accessed Aug. 23, 2012.
- Van Hofwegen C, et al. Epicondylitis in the athlete's elbow. Clinics in Sports Medicine. 2010;29:577.
- McPhee SJ, et al. Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2012. 51st ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=1. Accessed Aug. 23, 2012.
- Shiri R, et al. Lateral and medial epicondylitis: Role of occupational factors. Best Practice & Research Clinical Rheumatology. 2011;25:43.
- Walker-Bone K, et al. Occupation and epicondylitis: A population-based study. Rheumatology. 2012;51:305
- Walz DM, et al. Epicondylitis: Pathogenesis, imaging, and treatment. RadioGraphics. 2010;30:167.
- Laskowski ER (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Aug. 28, 2012.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.