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Can You Get Golfer’s Elbow if You Don’t Play Golf?

By: George Pearson 

Not scientifically reviewed by Dr. Eeks

Golfer’s elbow is extremely common and it affects millions of people across the country. You may suffer from it right now, but you’re unaware of this. Why? Because you don’t play golf! You’ve never picked up a golf club in your life, so how could you possibly get golfer’s elbow? 

 

Sometimes, this condition is referred to as tennis elbow. Again, you don’t play this sport, so you instantly count this out as your issue. Instead, you think you have another problem, which can lead you to seek the wrong treatments for it. 

 

With that in mind, can you get golfer’s elbow if you don’t play golf? Why yes, you absolutely can. 

 

Medial epicondylitis

The truth is that golfer’s elbow is just a name that’s been given to a common type of tendinitis. The medical terminology is actually medial epicondylitis. It is an issue that affects the inside of your elbow and can lead to chronic pain. The repetitive swinging motion of a golf club is known to put extra stress on the tendons in this area, leading to many golfers suffering from the condition. Hence, golfer’s elbow was born. 

 

However, you absolutely can suffer from this problem if you have never played a round of golf in your life. In fact, you don’t have to be remotely sporty to have medial epicondylitis. 

 

What causes this tendinitis?

Over time, the tendons in your arm will become inflamed and very painful. They attach to your elbow/forearm, meaning you feel pain throughout this area. This is caused by repeating the same movements over and over again or keeping your arms in a fixed position for too long. 

 

As an example, typing at a computer all day can lead to medial epicondylitis. The strain you put on your forearms will inflame the tendons in the same way that swinging a golf club does. People that play instruments are also commonly affected by this condition. 

 

How do you treat it?

Firstly, you need to know if you have it. Here are some common symptoms to be aware of:

 

  • Elbow pain, usually on the inside of the joint
  • Weak wrists
  • Forearm soreness
  • Stiffness around the elbow joint

 

If you keep experiencing these symptoms – particularly after typing for long hours – then you should see a doctor for a diagnosis. 

 

Following this, you’ll have a range of treatment options. Rest is typically recommended, and you could also ice the area to reduce swelling and inflammation. If you are in a lot of pain, medication is usually provided. This won’t be anything severe – like an opioid – it will likely be something you can get over the counter. 

 

Furthermore, some physiotherapy and rehabilitation are needed to strengthen the muscles around this joint. You may also end up wearing medial epicondylitis Kinesio tape to further deal with the pain and aid recovery. Over time, the idea is that your rehabilitation will allow you to stop wearing the tape or taking medication. You can see massive amounts of relief for this problem; it’s not an issue that has to plague you for the rest of your life. 

 

If you suspect you have this problem, it’s a good idea to get diagnosed. The sooner you can work on treating the issue, the easier it is to calm the symptoms.

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