Rodney Wong MD

"Your Bone Health" Featured Question - Fall 2014

Most golf injuries are the result of overuse. By repeating the same golf swing motion over and over again, significant stress is placed on the same muscles, tendons, and joints. Over time, this can cause injury.

Golfers most often experience hand tenderness or numbness, and may also have shoulder, back, and knee pain. Golfer's elbow and wrist injuries, such as tendinitis or carpal tunnel syndrome, may also occur.

Leading the list of injuries is golfer's elbow, technically known as medial epicondylitis. Golfer's elbow is an inflammation of the tendons that attach your forearm muscles to the inside of the bone at your elbow. The forearm muscles and tendons become damaged from overuse — repeating the same motions again and again. This leads to pain and tenderness on the inside of the elbow.

 

One of the best ways to avoid elbow problems is to strengthen your forearm muscles and slow your golf swing so that there will be less shock in the arm when the ball is hit.

The following simple exercises can help build up your forearm muscles and help you avoid golfer's elbow. For best results, do these exercises during the off-season, as well.

  • Squeeze a tennis ball. Squeezing an old tennis ball for 5 minutes at a time is a simple, effective exercise that will strengthen your forearm muscles.
  • Wrist curls. Use a lightweight dumbbell. Lower the weight to the end of your fingers, and then curl the weight back into your palm, followed by curling up your wrist to lift the weight an inch or two higher. Perform 10 repetitions with one arm, and then repeat with the other arm.
  • Reverse wrist curls. Use a lightweight dumbbell. Place your hands in front of you, palm side down. Using your wrist, lift the weight up and down. Hold the arm that you are exercising above your elbow with your other hand in order to limit the motion to your forearm. Perform 10 repetitions with one arm, and then repeat with the other arm.

The information on this page was provided by the website orthoinfo.aaos.org (Orthoinfo provides information about musculoskeletal conditions and injuries — how they are treated, as well as how they can be prevented.)