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How can I prevent my elbow from hurting after a round of golf?

Golfer's elbow, also known as medial epicondilytis, is pain located in the inside of the elbow. Golfer's elbow is often caused by excessive use. To help prevent golfer's elbow, it is best to avoid repetitive movements such as the golf swing for extended periods of time. For example, give yourself plenty of breaks when practicing on the driving range, and stop your practice session if you begin to feel pain in your elbow. Lastly, include stretching exercises for your forearms before practice or a round of golf. To stretch your forearms (wrist extensors), hold one arm out at shoulder height palm face upwards and gently pull the back of the hand toward your forearm and hold this position for thirty seconds. To stretch your wrist flexors, hold one arm out at shoulder height, palm face downward, and gently pull your palm toward the bottom of your forearm and hold this position for thirty seconds.

There are a couple of things you can do to help stop the soreness in your elbow after a round of golf.  First, make sure you check with your physician, physical therapist or athletic trainer about the elbow soreness.  If they believe it is muscular in nature then you can do a couple of things to help.  NASM gave an excellent description on how to stretch your forearm.  I suggest you do this both pre- and post-workout.  This will prepare the forearm for the activity you are about to perform. 

The next step is to add a strengthening routine for the forearms.  This can be done in the comfort of your own home with or without the use of dumbbells.  The exercise routine is similar to the stretching routine.  Start with wrist flexion or wrist curls.  You can use a dumbbell, theraband, or even a can of soup to start.  Start by flexing your wrist for a two count then slowly letting it down for a three count for 2 sets of 10 reps. Next flip your wrist over and perform wrist extensions or pulling our wrist back for the same count as well as sets and reps.  You may find that you are a little weaker on this side and that is normal.  Next you are going to perform pronation exercises of the wrist by simply placing your forearm on a stable surface palm facing up and then turn it over like you are pouring out a drink onto the floor.  A tip for this exercise is to use your opposite hand to stabilize the forearm so that your elbow does not come off the table. Finally, stabilize your forearm again with your palm facing downwards, then turn upwards like you are going to hold a bowl of soup, this is called supination.  I would start this routine 2-3 times per week.

After you finish with you round of golf, stretch again and then ice.  This may help any residual soreness that creeps in later on in the day.

Finally, check with your local golf professional, you may just be gripping the club to tight!

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.