Golfer’s Elbow or Medial Epicondylitis is a medical condition that affects the muscles in the forearm that enable us to hold, twist the arm or grip onto things. It causes pain in the bony outgrowth or bump on the inner side of the elbow joint. Golfer’s Elbow can be categorically defined as a type of Elbow Tendinitis that occurs due to excessive use of the arm. People who are obese, more than 40 years of age or indulge in smoking are at a greater risk of developing the condition.
- Repetitive arm movements while painting, raking, hammering etc.
- Sports injury, particularly while playing tennis, golf, hammer throw etc.
- Inadequate warming up before playing a sport
- Repeated stress or overuse of the forearm muscles
- Working on the computer for long hours
- Pain in the inner side of the elbow
- Discomfort may worsen while moving the forearm
- Stiffness when the arm is flexed or while making a fist
- Weakness in hands
- Numbness and tingling sensation in the hand or fingers
- Daily activities such as turning a knob, shaking hands, squeezing or lifting weights may become difficult
- Warmth and tenderness around the elbow
- Detailed analysis of the patient’s previous medical conditions and elbow surgeries, symptoms, daily activities etc.
- The orthopedic doctor may ask the patient to move the arm, wrist and hands in different directions to assess the range of motion
- Palpation to check for tenderness or stiffness
- X-ray may be done to rule out fracture and other problems associated with the bone structure
- An MRI scan may be conducted to analyze damage to soft tissues
- Rest the affected arm and avoid any activity that may aggravate pain
- Take a prescribed course of anti-inflammatory medicines
- Cryotherapy- apply ice packs at regular intervals for few days
- Use a removable elbow brace to prevent tendon strain
- The doctor may recommend certain exercises to stretch and lengthen the tendon of the wrist extensor muscle
- Adjustments can be made in the movement of the arm while playing a sport
- A soft elastic band or splint may be used to reduce pressure on the tendon
- Surgery may be required if the pain does not subside within 6-12 months of treatment. The procedure may involve using ultrasound guided imagery to remove the scar tissue near the tendon