Arm & Elbow Golf Injuries

By Teresa Justine Kelly

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Overuse of the arm and elbow in the golf swing can invite tendonitis in the elbow, or "golfer's elbow", or a pulled muscle in the arm. The golf swing requires a repetitive motion that can exacerbate the pain of golfer's elbow and promote small tears in the arm muscle. Recognizing the pain will assist you in prevention and care for elbow and arm injuries.


The arm or elbow will be tender when you touch it or will hurt significantly when you attempt your golf swing. There might also be some swelling in the affected area. If you are suffering with golfer's elbow, the pain will be felt on the inside of the elbow. The pain might persist regardless of golf activity.


Golfer's elbow is an inflammation of the tendon on the inner side of the elbow. This tendon, called the medial epicondylitis, is affected when the wrist is bent downward, normally applied in the golf swing. A pulled muscle in the arm is usually caused by excessive, repetitive activity.


Avoid further use of the arm or elbow and discontinue your golf game to help recover from the injury. Wrap your elbow or arm in an elastic bandage. For immediate relief, wrap, a heat pack or hot-water bottle, or ice pack against the affected area for five or 10 minutes two times a day. If the pain persists, check with your physician for medical treatment.


If you consistently experience golfer's elbow, pay close attention to your swing technique. A golf pro can help determine if your swing is incorrect and contributing to the problem. Allow time before your game to properly warm up your body. Bending and stretching tight muscles before beginning your round will contribute greatly in the prevention of pulled and strained arm muscles, and golfer's elbow.


An injured arm or elbow requires time to heal. Abstaining from further activity will greatly contribute to the healing process. Check your arm or elbow for reduced swelling and tenderness. An injured arm or golfer's elbow usually takes several weeks to heal. After the pain has subsided, resume your game.

About the Author

Teresa Kelly graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history. She was an editor for seven years for several magazines and publishing houses. Kelly is an avid golfer, a well-known children's book and golf author, and is currently the president of Highview Press/Golfing Lady that produces all occasion golf greeting cards.