• Dr. Park


Updated: May 23, 2018

Since California is where people can enjoy golf during all four seasons, as much as there are golf players, there are many patients concerned of tennis elbow and golf elbow. Male patient in his mid-forty’s stated he had difficulty finishing 18 Hole Round because of pain on his right medial elbow, which started five months ago. At first, there was only discomfort after a work-out. Ever since last month, he felt pain whenever he bent his elbow to wash his face or even when he tried twisting open a bottle cap. He got diagnosed with “Golf elbow” when he could not even hold a cup of coffee.

“Tennis Elbow” and “Golfer’s elbow” are terms for conditions for one of the most common pains, referring to pain due to trauma on the outer part of the elbow when playing tennis, and pain on the inner part of the elbow while playing golf.

Elbow pain is manifested in different ways, such as muscle ache, bursitis, or tendinitis. But the most infamous for slow healing and most persistent pain is “Golf elbow” and “Tennis elbow.”

“Golfer’s elbow” and “Tennis elbow” are both elbow pain conditions, but the area of damage and main reason are each different. The medical term for “Golfer’s elbow” is medial epicondylitis, referring to injury occurring on the inside of the elbow. The inner elbow exerts pain when the wrist is extended because of damage or inflammation in the area where the wrist flexor muscle is connected with the inner tendon of the elbow. In the contrary, the medical term for “Tennis elbow” is lateral epicondylitis, referring to injury on the outside tendon used when spreading the hand as well as rupture of the elbow surrounding tendon.

These two elbow pain conditions are found not only those in overexerting golfers and tennis players, but also in anyone who has a career that requires frequent usage and burden on their elbow. Housewives, who do housecleaning, dishwashing, or other labor-intensive usage of the arm, or those who have to rotate the wrist for wringing the laundry and wiping the floors, may have the conditions; or those who use the computer or drive for a long period of time may have the same conditions as well.

Those with Golfer’s or Tennis elbow may have throbbing pain in the inner elbow and worse pain especially on the outer elbow, where there is protrusion, when striking a pose of throwing a baseball. The pain worsens when they try to lift or grab a heavy object, so much that they cannot even hold a teacup.

Because of the difficulty in treating the elbow once its condition initiate, prevention is crucial. You can avoid these pain once you familiarize and practice the preventative methods.

First, stretch the damaged muscles so that the elbow joints can move freely. One way is to stretch out the arm forward while the opposite hand stretches the wrist so that it can move up and down.

Second, strengthen the elbow and wrist muscles:

Elbow flexor strengthening exercise:

  1. Spread the legs pelvis width, slightly bend the knees, and hold a 1kg dumbbell in each hand.

  2. Lift the dumbbell up to the chest level fifteen times while maintaining both elbow on your sides. Breath out while lifting the arm, and breath out when lowering the arm.

Wrist flexor strengthening exercise:

  1. Sit on a chair and rest the bottom part of the elbow over the edge of the table. Hold a 500g-1kg dumbbell and have the palm of the hand face up.

  2. Slowly lift the dumbbell towards the body. In the same position, have the dorsum of the hand face up; however, if there is severe pain, then have the opposite hand assist in lifting up, while lowering the arm without assistance. It is important that the elbow resting over the table does not drop. Repeat each for three sets, fifteen times.

Stop the workout when there is pain. If the symptom is minimal, wear an elbow band and apply ice pack so relieve the pain.

Published by KoreaTimes under <Health Column> on January 12, 2016.

505 S. Virgil Ave #306 Los Angeles, CA 90020

T: (213) 944 - 0214


  • Yelp
  • Instagram
  • Facebook Social Icon

© 2017 - 2020 by Haeseong Integrative Medicine Center