Golfer’s elbow afflicts the inside area of the elbow of golfers, typically the left inside elbow of right handed ones. It is caused by a inclination to have too much strain on the muscles and tendons that are regularly pulling in the area and they get inflamed and get tight.
9 times out of 10 when people set up for their swing, they carry by the impact zone and have a inclination to “chicken wing” their arm (pulling the arm in) instead of follow by up to a nice finish. This action fights the centrifugal force that is generated along the downswing and instead of shifting stresses into the ball, it places them into the inside area of the left elbow.
It doesn’t take much of a “pull” to create meaningful stress on those tendons and ligaments when you have all the momentum and weight of the club going away from your body.
One problem that golfers can experience with their left arm (if they are right handed golfers) is that during follow by golfers may hyperextend and lock their elbow. You want it to be straight at impact, but not hyperextended.
What causes this “chicken wing” pull action and hyperextension problem?
The number one reason is improper alignment. Most golfers have improper alignment, and then need to alter their swing to hit the target. If you are not lined up correctly, your arms will not be able to “clear your body” to unprotected to a substantial square impact. To get close to a square impact, the club will need to be pulled back towards the ball, stressing the inside tendons of the elbow.
The number two problem is when golfers hit down too much on the ball instead of hitting “by” the ball. During the golf swing you should feel as if you are swinging up instead of hitting down on the ball. This will relieve so much stress being placed onto the tendons around the elbow and avoid the tendonitis.
The constant stress and strain from hitting the turf hard will rule to the bothersome golfers elbow. The best way to keep it from coming back is to learn how to properly align your body at stance and also work towards a swing that hits by the ball and up instead of down.
If you develop golfer’s elbow the best initial treatment is anti-inflammatory medication along with icing and bracing the forearm. This is called “counterforce” bracing. Physical therapy can help significantly along with a steroid injection into the inflamed area.