Golfer’s elbow, also known as medial epicondylitis, is a condition that causes pain to the bony bump (medial epicondyle) on the inside of the elbow. This is due to the swelling of one of the flexor tendons that join the forearm muscles to that bony bump. Golfer’s elbow is very similar to tennis elbow, which occurs on the outside of the elbow.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
The primary symptom of golfer’s elbow is pain and tenderness to the inside of the elbow where the bony bump is located. Other symptoms include:
- Weakened grip and wrist
- Pain and a tingling sensation that spreads down your arm, from the elbow to your pinky finger
- Pain with movement of the hand and wrist
- Worsening pain when lifting a heavy object with your palm facing up
- Stiffness in the elbow that makes it hard to move it
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES & RISK FACTORS?
Common causes of a golfer’s elbow are:
- Overuse of flexor muscles in the forearm
- Direct impact to the elbow, such as in a sports injury or fall
- Activities that involve repetitive twisting and bending motion of the wrist- occupations such as plumbers, cooks, butchers, and sports such as tennis and golf
WHAT IS THE DIAGNOSIS?
A history of the injury and a physical examination of the elbow will be conducted by the Doctor.
Imaging tests will be taken, such as an x-ray to eliminate other conditions.
WHAT ARE THE TREATMENT OPTIONS?
Treatment will begin with nonsurgical treatments, such as:
- Applying ice or cold compress to the elbow and inner part of the forearm to reduce swelling and pain
- Using a brace for elbow support
- Medication for pain relief and to reduce inflammation
- Strengthening exercises
Should nonsurgical treatments fail to alleviate your symptoms, surgery may be recommended to remove the damaged tissue.
HOW CAN WE PREVENT?
There are a few steps that we can take to reduce our risks of getting a golfer’s elbow. These include:
- Doing strengthening exercises
- Doing the appropriate stretches before starting any physical activity
- Using the proper form during sporting activities should it be required, such as during golf