Golfers Elbow Treatment

Treatment, Exercises and Stretches for Golfers Elbow

The pain, stiffness and other symptoms of golfers elbow can become extremely irritating.

For those most often affected by golfer’s elbow – manual laborers – the pain could affect their work.

If you don’t treat golfer’s elbow quickly, it can develop into more persistent or serious pain. 

While every patient is different, there are some basic treatments, exercises, and stretches that have been found to help reduce pain and speed up recovery.

This Fix My Elbow article will outline golfer’s elbow treatment.

What is Golfer’s Elbow (medial epicondylitis)?

Golfer’s elbow is an inflammation of the tendons or other tissue surrounding the elbow joint and forearm.

It’s described as pain, swelling, soreness, or stiffness of the elbow joint.

Often, patients report pain that radiates down the forearm to the wrist and hand. 

Golfer’s elbow is caused when pressure or strain is put on the wrist and forearm, often from repetitive motions, causing the tissue to become inflamed.

Although it’s named after golfers, it’s more common among manual laborers who use their hands on a daily basis.

Carpenters, plumbers, gardeners, cooks, typists, and others often suffer from golfer’s elbow as they are repeatedly hammering or using hand tools that require them to use repetitive motions with a lot of force. 

Golfers, tennis players or baseball players also experience golfer’s elbow but it is usually due to poor form when they are swinging the club, racquet, or bat.

This causes them to overextend their forearm and wrist. [1]

Read more about what causes golfer’s elbow pain here. 

In all cases, the tissue becomes inflamed or is torn and is not given proper time to heal.

This causes pain that if not treated can get worse or turn into a more chronic problem.

What is the Best Treatment for Golfer’s Elbow?

Treatment, Stretches, and Exercises to Help Cure Golfer’s Elbow

As mentioned, if not treated early, golfer’s elbow can turn into something much worse.

There are several treatments that have been found to reduce pain and help people recover faster. 

Below is an outline of some of the treatment, exercises, and stretches to help reduce pain and other symptoms of golfer’s elbow.

Read more about the top tips for fixing golfer’s elbow.

Change Your Movement and Rest

The best thing you can do immediately is to give your muscles and tissue a break.

Rest from the repetitive motions so the tears have time to heal. If you are a manual laborer who cannot stop your work, try carrying out the movement in a different way.

Place your weight higher up your arm, use a flat surface to reduce some of the pressure, or ask for help.

Often, a physical therapist can help suggest alternative movements. 

For athletes, the pain is often due to poor form.

A physical therapist can help correct your swing or check if your equipment is too large, too small, or if it’s too heavy, which can all contribute to the condition. 

Ice or Heat Your Elbow

Icing your elbow and forearm right after experiencing pain is helpful.

Because of the strain, the tissue surrounding your elbow and forearm becomes inflamed, leading to swelling.

Ice helps reduce inflammation and gives your tissue time to heal. It’s recommended you ice your elbow 10-15 minutes several times per day. [2]

Heat is recommended for people with more chronic golfer’s elbow pain. It helps muscles relax so they can heal. 

Stretches to Reduce Golfer’s Elbow Pain

Stretching is another treatment for golfer’s elbow that has been found to reduce pain and accelerate healing. There are several key stretches that patients and physical therapists often recommend, including:

Palm stretch

Stretch the affected arm out in front of you with your palm facing up. Using your other hand, pull the affected hand back toward your wrist. Hold for 15-30 seconds and repeat about 2-3 times. Flip your hand over so your palm is facing the floor and pull your fingers back toward your wrist. Hold for 15-30 seconds and repeat 2-3- times. [3]

Wrist circles

Circle your wrists around in one direction for 15-30 seconds and then switch directions. Repeat about 2-3 times.

Exercises to Reduce Golfer’s Elbow Pain

Although rest is important when experiencing golfer’s elbow, experts don’t recommend stopping all activity entirely because it could exacerbate the condition and lead to more stiffness.

There are some weighted exercises that physical therapists recommend to help strengthen muscles, which helps with recovery, including: 

Resisted wrist curls: Holding a 2-pound weight in your hand, rest your forearm on a flat surface, with your hand hanging over the edge and your palm facing down. Slowly lower your hand down before raising it back to the original position. Repeat about 15 times and then flip your palm over and curl your palm up toward your wrist. Repeat about 15 times [4]

Weighted bicep curl: Holding a 2-pound weight in your hand, rest your forearm on a flat surface. Curl your forearm and bicep up until your hand touches your shoulder. Repeat about 15 times. 

Towel twist: Holding a rolled-up towel, grip it from either side with both hands. Make a fist with both hands and then twist the towel in both directions like you are trying to wring water out of it. Repeat 5-10 times.

Squeeze a stress ball: Holding a stress ball in your hand, grip it tightly with your palm and fingers. Repeat 5-10 times. This help strengthen your grip. [5]

X-Ray or MRI to Determine Cause of Pain

If your pain does not improve after several weeks or months of these treatments, it may be time to see a doctor.

They will recommend an X-ray or MRI to determine what is causing the pain.

An X-ray will show if there is something more serious like tendon or tissue damage that could require surgery.


This article outlined the treatment, exercises, and stretches for golfer’s elbow.

It included some of the most common ways to help reduce golfer’s elbow pain and reduce recovery time.