Can Physical Therapy Help Golfers/Tennis Elbow?

Golfer's elbow and tennis elbow are often confused, but it's important to understand the difference to treat elbow pain effectively. Identifying the root cause of the problem is key to relieving pain while swinging, and physical therapy exercises for golfer's elbow can help address the underlying issue, leading to a quick recovery and injury prevention.
golfers elbow
January 19, 2024

Elbow injuries can be a common occurrence for golfers, and in some cases can become debilitating with each swing of the club. While there can be many different injuries to the elbow in golfers, the most common is “tennis elbow” and “golfer’s elbow.” In this blog, we will examine potential causes of these injuries, as well as how physical therapy can improve your condition. 

Golfer’s Elbow vs. Tennis Elbow

Let’s first examine the similarities and differences between these two golf injuries. They are both muscular injuries but on different areas of the elbow. Tennis elbow, which is typically the more common injury for golfers between the two (ironic, isn’t it?) is caused by overusing the extensor muscles of the forearm, which insert onto the outside of the elbow. On the contrary, golfers elbow is caused by overusing the flexor muscles of the forearm that insert onto the inside of the elbow. Both of these injuries can produce tenderness and discomfort, especially when swinging the club. As always, it is best practice to be evaluated by a medical professional to determine the type and severity of your specific injury.

What Causes Golfer’s Elbow and/or Tennis Elbow?

Once you have determined the extent of your injury, we can begin examining potential golfers/tennis elbow causes, which include but are not limited to:

  • Lack of rotation in your golf swing (in the hips or spine), causes overcompensation of your forearm musculature.
  • Too strong/too weak of a grip can cause excessive movement of your wrist during your swing.
  • Excessive impact or frequent “fat shots,” cause significant forces up your club and into your elbow.

Can Physical Therapy Help Golfer’s Elbow and Tennis Elbow?

Physical therapy for golfers elbow can certainly help. It is crucial to determine the root cause of the injury. It might seem strange, but a tight hip can certainly be responsible for your elbow discomfort. After addressing the source of the issue, a physical therapist can provide golfers/tennis elbow exercises and apply manual therapy, isolated strengthening, and pain management techniques to resolve the issue and prevent future occurrences. A full recovery can take as little as a couple of weeks to as long as several months, depending on the severity of your individual injury.

Conclusion

Golfer’s elbow or tennis elbow can create significant discomfort in golfers. However, there are many options to resolve and prevent a golf elbow injury through physical therapy. 

If this sounds like you or anyone you know, click here to schedule a free strategy call with us and return to playing pain-free golf.

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