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Golfer's Elbow: Cause and Effect

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Just when I thought golfer's had the easy life, I retracted my statement upon realization of how many golfers suffer from a medical condition called golfer’s elbow. Fitting name, right? Well actually, I didn’t just research about golfer’s who suffer from this common medical condition, I also learned that golfer’s elbow occurs in many people who have not golfed a day in their life. What a concept!

Golfers elbow is a condition when the tendon that connects the forearm to the elbow is irritated, stretched, or torn, most commonly from overtraining. The damaged tendon is most commonly irritated when a particular motion is repeated over and over. Besides swinging a golf club, golfer’s elbow is frequently found in those who participate in tennis, bowling, archery, football and pitching a baseball or softball. In fact, this condition is sometimes referred to as pitcher’s elbow. Other risk factors for golfer’s elbow - which is not related to playing a sport - is using tools such as a screwdriver, hammer, raking leaves, plumbing, carpentry or painting.

You can also develop a case of golfer’s elbow by not using sports equipment properly, including golf clubs or tennis rackets that are too heavy. Another common way to get golfer’s elbow is thinking you look like a rock star taking a hard stab at the golf ball, and continuing to use the wrong posture when swinging. It’s a bad habit to break, but the sooner you correct your swing, the better off are in steering clear of the nagging golfer’s elbow.

Even if you have never heard of golfer’s elbow, you have likely heard of tennis elbow. Although they are not the same, they are similar, like a cousin condition. While golfer’s elbow is irritation of the tendon on the inside of the elbow, tennis elbow stems from damage to the tendons on the outside. Therefore, they are not the same, but related because they are both a form of elbow tendonitis.

Symptoms for golfer’s elbow include pain and tenderness on the inner side of your elbow that can extend down the forearm. You may also encounter stiffness, as in it is tough and possibly painful to make a fist, and weakness in your hands and wrists. In most cases, your hands and wrists can experience numbness or a tingling sensation through the fingers.

Join us on Wednesday to discuss treatment for golfer’s elbow, including self care and preventative measure you can take to avoid overuse.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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