Golfers Elbow Treatment


(Self) massage is probably the best golfers elbow treatment that you can do on your own. To achieve relief you have to massage a couple of key muscles that can initiate inner elbow pain if they are too tight or contain trigger points.


Note: On this page I will treat the terms „inner elbow pain“ and „golfers elbow“ as synonyms.  Furthermore it is important to know that you do not have to be a golf player in order to suffer from this kind of pain. Everyone can experience it!


Content

Self-Massage

... Of Your Upper Arm

... Of Your Chest

... Of Your Ribcage

... Of Your Upper Back

Potentially Responsible Muscles

Symptoms

The reason for this is that everyone can develop tight muscle tissue and/or trigger points that irritate the nervous system and leave muscles as well as joints in pain. As soon as those muscles get relieved and these points eliminated, the pain is usually gone.


In the next paragraphs I will guide you step by step through your self-massage. I will provide you with detailed videos and written instructions.


Golfers Elbow Treatment: Your Self-Massage


The videos below will guide you through the self massage of the key muscles that can initiate inner elbow pain.


Note: Only massage the muscles that are tender. That means, later on – after watching the videos and checking the muscles – you probably won't have to massage all the presented muscles. Still, to find out which ones are affected, you have to inspect them all. This preliminary work will pay off big time later on. So try your best to do a good job here.


Part I


Part II



You couldn't follow along my instructions in the videos? Below you will find written instructions and pictures.


You weren't able to locate or massage a particular muscle? Then check out the “Potentially Responsible Muscles”, where you will find links which will supply you with all the info you need.



Golfers Elbow Treatment: Written Instructions For Your Self-Massage


Massage yourself on a daily basis until your pain is gone and exclusively focus on tender areas in a muscle!


I divided the self-massage in four areas – upper arm, chest, upper back, side of ribcage –. You will learn where and how to massage those areas and the triggering muscles in order to achieve relief.


Golfers Elbow Treatment: Self-Massage Of Your Upper Arm

Muscle: Triceps Brachii


When it comes to a golfers elbow or inner elbow pain, I recommend to always check the triceps brachii, as it is  very often a troublemaker. More precisely, it is only one point that you should inspect for your golfers elbow treatment. Some people find it a bit tricky to locate, but if you follow the next 5 short steps, I am sure you will figure it out.


Turn the back of your elbow in a way, so that it is facing your belly.

Now feel the triceps' attachment tendon by contracting your whole arm and placing your thumb on the back of your elbow.


Move your thumb 1 – 2 centimeters inside


Now move it 4 – 5 centimeters upwards and loosen up your arm.


Now move it again 1 – 2 centimeters upwards/inwards and you are in the problematic area. Palpate the surrounding tissue with your thumb and search for the tender point. If it is present and you find it, massage it max. 15 times with the thumb-technique.


Golfers Elbow Treatment: Self-Massage Of Your Chest

Muscles: Pectoralis Major, Pectoralis Minor

Here we will massage the pectoralis major and the pectoralis minor. Both muscles should be checked in every golfers elbow treatment as they can irritate your nervous system and create pain at the inner elbow if they are too tight or contain trigger points.


Let us start with the pectoralis major. Here, you will use the tennis ball massage as well as the press and move technique.


Place a tennis ball on your chest and lean against a wall. Now roll with the ball over it and search for tender spots. You are likely to find them especially in the mid section of your chest. Massage each tender spot for 10 – 15 times by slowly rolling over it.



Pectoralis Major Tennis Ball Massage


Pectoralis Major & Minor Trigger Points


Now we are going to examine the “outer border” of your chest – from under your nipple to your arm pit –. Here you use the press and move technique. You will search for tender spots by pinching the muscle and repeatedly moving your arm upwards and backwards with your palm facing the ceiling. 


For a proper golfers elbow treatment, examine the whole “outer” border of your chest in this way. As soon as you encounter a painful spot, stay there, pinch it and then slowly repeat the arm movement for about 20 times.




If your hands tire, take a brake and come back later to work the rest of your chest. I heavily recommend not to strain your fingers during massage!



We will proceed with your pectoralis minor, the small brother of the major. Here, you will apply the finger technique. Search for your coracoid process, which is the bony landmark that you can feel at the front of your shoulder. Then inspect the next underlying 5 – 8 centimeters for tenderness, as this is where the pectoralis minor is located. Massage each tender spot max. 15 times and use your free hand to support your massaging hand. This way you will save your finger joints AND you can apply more pressure.


Palpation Coracoid Process

Pectoralis Minor Self-Massage


Golfers Elbow Treatment: Self-Massage Of The Side Of Your Ribcage

Muscle: Serratus Anterior


Here we are going to work on your serratus anterior. It is a very thin and superficial muscle at the side of your ribcage. You can work it very well with the tennis ball massage or the finger technique.


Place a ball or your fingers at the side of your ribcage and massage each tender spot with max. 15 very slow and short strokes.



Serratus Anterior Self-Massage

Golfers Elbow Treatment: Self-Massage Of Your Upper Back

Muscle: Serratus Posterior Superior

Last but not least we will check your serratus posterior superior. It lies underneath your shoulder blade and is obviously very distant from your elbow. Still, if this muscle harbors trigger points, it can create inner elbow pain, which is the reason why it is on your golfers elbow treatment to do list. For massage I recommend using a tennis ball.


Note: As the fibers of this muscle are “hidden” under your shoulder blade, you have to cross the arm of the affected side in front of your body in order to massage it successfully. Only this way, your shoulder blade will rotate in a way that exposes the muscle's fibers.


Place the ball on your back, right at the upper and inner border of your shoulder blade. Now cross the arm as described and inspect the area of its inner border for tender points. Then massage each painful spot max. 15 times by slowly rolling over it.


Serratus Massage Position

Serratus Tennis Ball Massage

Golfers Elbow Or Inner Elbow Pain: Potentially Responsible Muscles


The following list contains the key muscles that have been described above. All can be involved in inner elbow pain and therefore should be inspected for a successful golfers elbow treatment. Still, the ones highlighted with an „!“ are the most common troublemakers and should be checked first.


Note: If a muscle is tender, it means it is too tight and needs to be massaged/released!


Pectoralis major !

Pectoralis minor

Serratus anterior

Serratus posterior superior



Triceps brachii !

Especially check the triceps' X 6
trigger point!


Symptoms Of A Golfers Elbow Or Inner Elbow Pain


With inner elbow pain you might have pain while...

  • lifting any kind of weights
  • shaking someone's hand
  • turning a doorknob
  • playing golf


Thanks a lot for reading! In case of any questions or suggestions, feel free to contact me.


› Golfer Elbow Treatment