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What to Do If You Have Outer Elbow Pain With Golfing

Outer elbow pain with golfing can be very frustrating and limiting. We will cover why you have pain on the outside of your elbow when playing golf and what you can do about it.

Pain on the outside of the elbow is commonly referred to as tennis elbow. You don’t have to play tennis to get it, though. In golfers it will typically happen on the lead elbow (left elbow in a right handed golfer).

Reasons for Outer Elbow Pain with Golfing

It happens as the muscles and tendons on the top of the forearm get aggravated from overuse. There are two main reasons why these muscles would get overworked in the golf swing.

  • Too Much Too Soon
  • Breakdown in Mechanics
outer elbow pain with golfing

Too Much Too Soon

A large increase in the amount of swings you take can lead to outer elbow pain with golfing. This can happen as the weather changes and you finally get outside and hit 2 jumbo buckets of balls 3 days in a row after not playing for 2-3 months. Your elbow simply wasn’t ready for that amount of swings!

It is best to have a more gradual build up to allow your body to get used to swinging again.

Building up the strength in your elbow over the winter with the two exercises below can help prevent accidentally doing too much in the spring!

Breakdown in Mechanics

A few things that can lead to outer elbow pain with golfing are limited hip mobility, the inability to separate your hip and upper body movement, limited shoulder mobility, and limited wrist mobility. These limitations can lead to a breakdown in swing mechanics putting increased stress on the elbow and wrist.

If you cannot rotate efficiently through your backswing and downswing, the body will make up for it somehow. In the case of outside elbow pain, the wrist and the elbow are trying to correct for limited rotation in order to hit the ball.

Most often it is actually the lower body that can be the cause of your outer elbow pain with golfing!

Positions That Lead to Outer Elbow Pain with Golfing

Commonly with outer elbow pain we will see cupping of the lead wrist at impact, or a chicken wing position of the lead arm. These positions will put increased stress on the outside of the elbow.

Cupping is when the lead hand is closer to the arm and the club in front of the hand at impact. The lead wrist should ideally be in a flat position at impact.

The chicken wing is where the front elbow and wrist are bent with the arm away from the body. (Like the chicken wing dance!) The front elbow should be straight and in line with the body at impact.

Both of these positions at impact put increased stress on the outside of the elbow. The wrist and elbow are trying to make up for something else in the body and get overworked.

What to Do If This Sounds Like You: Outer Elbow Pain With Golfing

As you can see, the elbow is not usually the cause of the issue. Getting the lower body rotating more efficiently is the most important thing to address. It will take a lot of stress off the elbow. You will feel better and might even hit the ball further!
If you’ve tried everything we reviewed above and you’re still not seeing progress, it doesn’t mean all hope is lost. It just means your situation is a bit more nuanced and takes some expertise to solve. Luckily for you, that’s what we specialize in! Fill out the form here for a free, no-obligation consultation!

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