Golfer's elbow: what it is, what are its symptoms and the best treatment for epitrochleitis

Golfer's elbow is a common sports injury that causes pain in the forearm area and is common in people who repeatedly use their wrists, so it is easy to confuse it with tennis elbow. In both golf and tennis, both injuries can be suffered and that is why it is necessary to know the differences in order to make a diagnosis and initiate the best treatment indicated by a specialist.

Qué es el codo de golfista

What is golfer's elbow?

ANDGolfer's elbow (epitrochleitis, medial epicondylitis or pronator-flexor syndrome) is an injury to the tendons of the upper extremities that causes pain in the elbow and forearm.. The term with which this pathology was cataloged is due to the fact that It is a common condition in those who practice golf. When flexing and bending the wrists to give force to the blow, the tendons can become strained and generate inflammation in the area that causes pain.

People who suffer from medial epicondylitis experience discomfort from torn tendons on the inside and upper part of the forearm, near the elbow. This is a sensitive area since it is where the tendon joins the bone and that is why its symptoms are easily noticeable.

Between the main risk factors for golfer's elbow age, practicing sports that involve hand movements or doing a repetitive activity for at least two hours per day appear. People who use tobacco or are obese are also more likely to suffer this injury.

Golfer's elbow should not be confused with tennis elbow., since they are exactly the opposite. The differences between tennis elbow and golfer's elbow They lie in the place where the injury is suffered. While golfer's elbow hurts on the inside of the elbow, tennis elbow hurts on the outside.

Most common symptoms of golfer's elbow

The common symptoms of golfer's elbow are:

  • Pain: It occurs on the inside of the elbow when you want to perform certain movements; it also feels like internal pain in the forearm. It can occur gradually or suddenly and worsen when trying to force the tendons of the forearm muscles.
  • Rigidity: The elbow becomes hard and may hurt when you try to make a fist.
  • Weakness: both the hands, the arm and the wrists lose strength.
  • Numbness: You may feel tingling in one or more fingers of your hand.

Síntomas más frecuentes del codo de golfista

Causes of golfer's elbow

The main cause of golfer's elbow It is damage to the tendons that control the wrist and fingers of the hand. Excessive or repeated tension and forced wrist movements are the main causes of this pain. Therefore, carelessly lifting, throwing, or moving an object can cause golfer's elbow.

In addition to golf, there are other Sports presented as risk factors for golfer's elbow. This injury is also common in throwing sports (baseball, American football, javelin), racquet sports (tennis, ping pong, paddle tennis), and in weight training that overloads the elbow tendons.

As we mentioned before, golfer's elbow should not be confused with tennis elbow. Typically, tennis elbow is caused by repetition and overuse, while golfer's elbow is caused by overuse of the wrist flexors.

Likewise, there are many Trades that are risk factors for golfer's elbow This is because they perform tasks in which they must repeatedly rotate their wrist, such as using a screwdriver, painting with a brush, or grabbing bricks, for example. Therefore, it is normal for golfer's elbow to appear in painters, construction workers, cooks or assembly line workers, among others.

Treatment and diagnosis of golfer's elbow

Once the patient presents symptoms of golfer's elbow, they should go to a specialist so that they can make an evaluation, make a diagnosis and indicate the most appropriate treatment.

In it golfer's elbow diagnosis The doctor may press on the affected area and ask the patient to try moving the elbow, wrist, and fingers to test mobility. Depending on the case, the specialist may also request an x-ray or an MRI of the elbow to confirm that it is not another injury.

Golfer's Elbow Treatment

Once the patient with golfer's elbow is diagnosed, the specialist will indicate the best treatment depending on the severity of the injury.. In some cases, only ice, rest and/or an immobilization device is enough, but in others some medications, corticosteroid injections, physical therapy and even surgery are necessary.

Epitrochleitis surgery is performed when the patient has disabling pain that has not been cured by any of the conservative treatment methods. At Clínica Elgeadi, our team of doctors specializing in sports traumatology of Madrid, has the tools and technology necessary to carry out a minimally invasive elbow surgery so that the patient can recover as quickly as possible.

Also, the physiotherapy treatment for golfer's elbow through stretching and strengthening exercises allows the patient to regain mobility and strength. This therapeutic method is extremely effective not only for rehabilitation but also to help prevent it.

Tratamiento y diagnóstico del codo de golfista

Measures to prevent golfer's elbow

When the elbow is overloaded, but has not reached the level of being diagnosed as golfer's elbow, it is possible to reinforce the area to prevent injury. Stretching and strengthening exercises have been shown to be highly effective. It is proven that progressive tendon loading and other physical therapy techniques help prevent golfer's elbow.

In Elgeadi Clinic we have the unit specialized in sports medicine that can carry out a complete medical study of the elbow and propose to the patient the most appropriate treatment for a golfer's elbow injury, so that they can recover the quality of life of their arm. If you have symptoms, book a private appointment with our professionals.

2 thoughts on “Codo de golfista: qué es, cuáles son sus síntomas y el mejor tratamiento para la epitrocleitis”

  1. I was diagnosed with epicondylitis or medium/severe golfer's disease... through an electromyogram... I had pain for almost a year doing stretches, etc.... now it practically doesn't hurt anymore, the question is:
    Now that the pain is largely gone, if they do an electromyogram again... Will it be diagnosed again? There you can see that it is cured? Or let's say it remains forever regardless of whether it hurts or not at that moment?


Leave a Comment

At Clínica Elgeadi we are committed to our community and open to advise and answer any question whenever possible.

To offer an accurate diagnosis to the patient, a personalized evaluation and a thorough review of their medical history will always be necessary. Once the case has been studied individually, the most appropriate treatment will be recommended to the patient according to their pathology and/or illness.

Furthermore, from the Elgeadi clinic, we would like to remind you that no medication will be prescribed without prior consultation.

Logo Clinica Elgeadi




Do you want to receive the latest medical news and good advice?

Contact information