Golfer’s Elbow (Medial Epicondylitis)

Golfer’s elbow, medically known as ‘medial epicondylitis’, is a condition typically characterised by pain where the tendons of your forearm muscles attach to the bony bump on the inside of your elbow. The pain might also spread into your forearm and wrist. Despite the name, this condition doesn’t only affect golfers. Any repetitive hand, wrist, or forearm motions can lead to golfer’s elbow.

Symptoms

The primary symptoms of golfer’s elbow include:

  • Pain or tenderness on the inside of the elbow
  • Stiffness in the elbow
  • Weakness in the hands or wrists
  • Numbness or tingling that radiates into one or more fingers

Diagnosis

The diagnosis of golfer’s elbow involves:

  • Physical Examination: Your doctor will apply pressure to the affected area or ask you to move your elbow, wrist, and fingers in various ways to determine where you feel pain.
  • Imaging Tests: X-rays can be used to rule out other conditions, such as arthritis. An MRI scan or Ultrasound might be ordered if your doctor thinks your symptoms are related to a neck problem or a nerve entrapment.

Prevention

Prevention strategies for golfer’s elbow include:

  • Strengthening your forearm muscles through weight training or specific exercises
  • Stretching before physical activity
  • Using correct form and equipment during physical activities
  • Not lifting heavy weights without proper training and form

Treatment Options

Treatment for golfer’s elbow usually involves a combination of self-care measures and medical treatment:

  • Rest and Ice: Taking rest and applying ice to the affected area can help in relieving the symptoms.
  • Physiotherapy: Specific exercises can improve flexibility and strength, and reduce pain.
  • Medications: Over-the-counter pain relievers may ease the pain and swelling.
  • Surgery and Other Procedures: If your symptoms do not respond to other treatments and if pain continues after a period of rest and treatment with physiotherapy and medications, your doctor might recommend surgery. Surgery involves removing the damaged tissue and reattaching healthy muscle back to bone.