Golfer’s Elbow: PRP Treatment to Get You Back On the Green

January 19, 2024
Elbow Pain
by Kolton Opdahl

Picture this: You’re standing on the lush green fairway, the sun casting a golden glow on the golf course. The anticipation builds as you prepare for that perfect swing. But suddenly, a sharp pain shoots through your elbow, disrupting the rhythm of your game. If you’ve ever experienced the frustration of Golfer’s Elbow, you’re not alone. But what if we told you there’s a game-changing solution that could get you back on the course faster than ever? Enter the world of PRP Injections – the secret weapon golfers have been waiting for to conquer Golfer’s Elbow and unlock a new level of golfing glory. Get ready to discover the magic that’s revolutionizing the way we approach golf and elbow pain!

Golfer’s Elbow, also known as medial epicondylitis or elbow tendonitis, is a common ailment among golf enthusiasts. Its impact on both amateur and professional players can be significant, affecting performance and overall enjoyment of the game. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the intricacies of Golfer’s Elbow and explore a cutting-edge treatment option – Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections.

Understanding Golfer’s Elbow

Golfer’s Elbow, scientifically known as medial epicondylitis, is like a silent saboteur that can disrupt your golf game. Let’s break it down with a peek into the fascinating world of human anatomy.

Imagine your arm as a complex system of bones, muscles, and tendons working harmoniously. Now, focus on the inner side of your elbow, where the magic—or in this case, the mischief—happens. Near the bony bump called the medial epicondyle, a group of tendons connects the muscles to the inner part of your forearm.

Enter Golfer’s Elbow: a condition where these tendons become inflamed, causing discomfort and pain. It’s as if a tiny rebellion is taking place in this crucial elbow neighborhood. The repetitive stress from gripping golf clubs or other activities can lead to this inflammation, disrupting the usually smooth operation of your arm.

In simpler terms, Golfer’s Elbow is like a protest in your elbow community, with the tendons demanding a break from overuse. Understanding this rebellious uprising is the first step to regaining control and, of course, getting back to swinging that golf club with the finesse you deserve.

Person holding there elbow due to golfers elbow pain

Golfer’s Elbow Symptoms and Causes:


  • Pain: Persistent pain on the inner side of the elbow is a hallmark symptom.
  • Tenderness: The affected area, particularly the medial epicondyle, may be tender to the touch.
  • Stiffness: Reduced flexibility in the elbow joint, especially during gripping activities.
  • Weakness: Weakened grip strength due to discomfort and inflammation.
  • Numbness or tingling: Some individuals may experience sensations of numbness or tingling radiating into the forearm.

These symptoms often develop gradually and worsen with repetitive movements, particularly those involving gripping or wrist flexion. Seeking medical evaluation for an accurate diagnosis is crucial for appropriate management.

Medial Epicondylitis Causes

It is primarily caused by overuse or repetitive stress on the forearm muscles and tendons that control wrist and finger movements. The specific causes include:

  • Repetitive Gripping: Frequent and forceful gripping, such as during golf swings, can strain the tendons.
  • Incorrect Technique: Poor golf swing mechanics or improper sports technique may contribute.
  • Occupational Factors: Certain occupations involving repetitive wrist flexion, like carpentry or plumbing, can increase the risk.
  • Age and Overuse: Golfer’s Elbow is more common in individuals aged 40 and older, particularly those who engage in repetitive activities.
  • Sports Activities: Aside from golf, other activities like tennis or weightlifting can also contribute

Understanding and addressing these contributing factors are essential for effective prevention and treatment.

How Do You Fix Golfer’s Elbow?

Traditional Treatment Options for Medial Epicondylitis

  • Rest: Avoiding activities that worsen symptoms are fundamental.
  • NSAIDs: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can alleviate pain and inflammation. These are just a mask that won’t improve your golfer’s elbow but will remove your pain.
  • Physical Therapy: Focuses on strengthening and stretching exercises to improve flexibility and reduce strain on the affected tendons.
  • Braces: Elbow braces or supports may provide relief by minimizing stress on the injured area
  • Steroid Injections: Corticosteroid injections may be considered to reduce inflammation.
  • Surgery: If you severely tear or completely rupture your medial epicondylitis you may need surgery to fix it.

Potential Concerns and Risk of Steroid Injections

Steroid injections, while providing short-term relief for musculoskeletal conditions, come with potential risks and drawbacks. Prolonged use can lead to weakening of tendons and tissues, increasing the risk of further injury. Steroids may also contribute to osteoporosis, impacting bone density. Moreover, these injections can suppress the immune system, leaving individuals more susceptible to infections. Long-term reliance on steroids may result in systemic side effects, affecting various organs. It’s crucial to weigh the benefits against these risks and consider alternative treatments like PRP Injections, which offer a more targeted and potentially safer approach to managing Golfer’s Elbow.

How Long Does Golfer’s Elbow Take to Heal?

The healing time for Golfer’s Elbow varies depending on factors like severity, treatment, and individual response. Mild cases may improve within a few weeks with rest, ice, and anti-inflammatory medications. Moderate cases treated with physical therapy may take several weeks to a few months. Severe cases, if left untreated, can become chronic and may take months to over a year to heal. Innovative treatments like PRP Injections may accelerate the healing process. It’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment plan to optimize recovery time and prevent long-term complications.

How PRP Injections Work

Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections harness the body’s natural healing abilities to address conditions like Golfer’s Elbow. The process begins by drawing a small amount of the patient’s blood, which is then centrifuged to separate its components. This concentrates the platelets, rich in growth factors and other bioactive proteins. The resulting PRP solution is injected directly into the affected area, such as the inner side of the elbow in the case of Golfer’s Elbow.

Once introduced, the growth factors in PRP stimulate tissue repair and regeneration. They enhance the body’s natural healing processes by promoting the production of collagen, a crucial protein for tissue strength. PRP essentially acts as a healing catalyst, accelerating the recovery of damaged tendons and reducing inflammation. This targeted approach not only addresses the symptoms but also addresses the underlying cause of Golfer’s Elbow. With minimal risk of adverse reactions, PRP Injections offer a promising and innovative treatment option for individuals seeking efficient and effective relief, allowing them to return to their favorite activities sooner.

Advantages of PRP Injections

  1. Faster Recovery Time: Compared to traditional treatments, PRP Injections promote quicker healing, allowing golfers to return to the course sooner.
  2. Reduced Recurrence: By addressing the root cause and promoting tissue regeneration, PRP helps reduce the risk of Golfer’s Elbow recurrence. This long-lasting impact distinguishes PRP Injections from conventional treatments that may only offer temporary relief.
  3. Minimized Side Effects: PRP is derived from the patient’s own blood, minimizing the risk of allergic reactions or adverse effects. This makes PRP Injections a safer alternative to treatments involving synthetic substances or corticosteroids.
  4. Natural: PRP is a natural substance, containing no synthetic additives. As it utilizes the patient’s own blood components, PRP is biocompatible, reducing the likelihood of rejection or complications associated with foreign substances.
  5. Targeted Treatment: PRP Injections are administered directly to the affected area, ensuring a precise and targeted approach. This localized delivery enhances the effectiveness of the treatment, directly addressing the damaged tendons and tissues responsible for Golfer’s Elbow symptoms.
Golfer finishing his swing. A golfers swing can damage your medial epicondylitis

Golfing with Golfer’s Elbow

Managing Golfer’s Elbow while continuing to enjoy golf requires a combination of proper self-care and adjustments to your golfing technique. Here are some tips:

  1. Warm-Up Routine: Prioritize a thorough warm-up routine to prepare your muscles for the game and reduce the risk of injury.
  2. Proper Swing Mechanics: Work with a golf instructor to modify your swing mechanics, reducing stress on the forearm muscles and decreasing the likelihood of aggravating Golfer’s Elbow.
  3. Equipment Considerations: Explore equipment modifications, such as using a lighter grip or trying a different type of golf club, to alleviate strain on the affected elbow.

Seeking Professional Advice

While PRP Injections show promise, it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment plan. Specialized physicians can assess the severity of the condition and guide individuals in making informed decisions about their treatment options.


In conclusion, Golfer’s Elbow can be a challenging condition for golf enthusiasts, but innovative treatments like PRP Injections offer hope for a faster and more effective recovery. By understanding the condition, exploring treatment options, and making adjustments to golfing habits, individuals can overcome Golfer’s Elbow and get back to enjoying the sport they love. Consultation with a healthcare professional is key, ensuring a tailored approach to treatment for the best possible outcomes.

FAQ For Golfer’s Elbow

What Can Be Mistaken For Golfer’s Elbow?

Conditions that can be mistaken for Golfer’s Elbow include tendonitis, bursitis, arthritis, and nerve compression in the elbow. Tennis Elbow (lateral epicondylitis) is a similar-sounding condition that affects the outer side of the elbow. Additionally, other overuse injuries or strains in the forearm muscles may exhibit similar symptoms. Proper diagnosis by a healthcare professional is crucial to distinguish Golfer’s Elbow from these conditions and determine the most effective treatment approach.

What Happens if Golfer’s Elbow Goes Untreated?

If Golfer’s Elbow goes untreated, the condition may worsen, leading to persistent pain, limited range of motion, and decreased grip strength. Chronic inflammation can result in long-term damage to the tendons, increasing the risk of tendon degeneration. Untreated Golfer’s Elbow may also impact daily activities, affecting overall quality of life. Seeking timely medical intervention and exploring appropriate treatments, such as PRP Injections, can prevent complications and promote effective recovery.

Should I Stretch My Golfer’s Elbow?

While gentle stretching can help alleviate Golfer’s Elbow symptoms, it’s essential to consult a healthcare professional before starting any exercise routine. Stretching should be done cautiously to avoid exacerbating the condition. A personalized approach, possibly guided by a physical therapist, ensures that stretching exercises are safe and beneficial for your specific situation.

What Causes Golfer’s Elbow to Flare Up?

Golfer’s Elbow can flare up due to repetitive stress on the forearm muscles and tendons, commonly caused by activities like gripping a golf club. Overuse, improper swing technique, or sudden increases in intensity can trigger inflammation in the tendons around the inner side of the elbow. Additionally, poor ergonomics, inadequate warm-up, or underlying conditions may contribute.

What is the Difference Between Golfer’s Elbow and Tennis Elbow?

Golfer’s Elbow (medial epicondylitis) and Tennis Elbow (lateral epicondylitis) are distinct conditions, despite both affecting the elbow. Golfer’s Elbow involves inflammation on the inner side of the elbow, causing pain and tenderness. It is typically associated with repetitive wrist flexion or gripping activities, like in golf swings. In contrast, Tennis Elbow affects the outer side of the elbow due to repetitive wrist extension. Tennis players often experience this condition. While both involve overuse of forearm muscles, the specific areas affected and the activities causing them differ. Proper diagnosis is essential for effective treatment.

Comparing the difference between golfer's elbow and tennis elbow with anatomy pictures of each

Is Golfer’s Elbow a Permanent Condition?

Golfer’s Elbow (medial epicondylitis) is usually not a permanent condition, especially when properly managed. With appropriate and timely treatment, including rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, innovative options like PRP Injections, the majority of individuals can experience significant improvement and eventually return to their normal activities. However, if left untreated or if the underlying causes persist, Golfer’s Elbow can become chronic, leading to long-term discomfort. Seeking early intervention, adopting preventive measures, and following a tailored treatment plan are crucial for a more favorable prognosis and to prevent the condition from becoming persistent.

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(1) Szyluk, K., Bubnov, R., Jarosz, A., Reguła, R., Grabowski, P., Iwanicka, J., Iwanicki, T., Gierek, M., Sieroń, D., Christe, A., & Niemiec, P. (2023). The impact of blood morphological parameters on treatment outcomes in tennis elbow patients receiving Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy: a prospective study. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 13(1), 77.