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:

  • 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.
Oct. 09, 2012