Medial Epicondylitis / Golfer's Elbow

What is it?
Medial epicondylitis also known as Golfer's Elbow, is a condition where the tendon on the inside of the elbow becomes inflamed and painful. This tendon attaches the muscles of the forearm to the inner bony bump on the elbow (medial epicondyle).

Symptoms
Golfer's elbow most often occurs in the dominant arm. Pain along the inner side of the elbow (the side that touches your body) that may radiate down your forearm is common. Repetitive movements of the wrist and elbow usually make the pain worse. The forearm may be weak and it may be harder to participate in sports activities that require arm strength.

Causes
The repetitive motions of the wrist during golfing can cause injury to the inner tendon of the elbow leading to inflammation and pain. In addition to golf, golfer's elbow can be caused by throwing sports, being a musician, or being a painter.

Treatment
Stretching and icing are the ideal forms of treatment. Treatment can include rest from work and sports or a change in the technique used during work and sports. Our specialist may prescribe a tennis elbow strap. Pain relievers can be used to lessen symptoms and reduce inflammation. Injections into the tendon are generally not used unless the pain persists after other treatments. In more advanced cases where conservative care has not eliminated the pain, surgical intervention may be required.

Returning to Sport or Activity
The goal for treating golfer's elbow is a pain-free return to the sport or activity. It is sometimes possible to continue with work or sports during treatment if activities that aggravate the injury are avoided. When it is not possible to continue work or sports, treatment including rest, ice, and physical therapy is used to stop the symptoms of Golfer's elbow. Most people respond well to treatment and can begin a slow progression back into work or sports as soon as the pain is gone.