October 24, 2011

Understanding Golfer’s Elbow

(Medial Epicondylitis)

What Is Medial Epicondylitis?
Medial Epicondylitis, also referred to as ‘golfer’s elbow,’ is considered a cumulative trauma injury. The muscles that are used to pull the hand down, the wrist flexors, are located on the palm side of the forearm.

These muscles join together and attach to the common flexor tendon, which attaches to inside medial epicondyle (the inside of the elbow). When the wrist flexors are overused, the common flexor tendon becomes inflammation and painful.

Pain on the inside of the Elbow, usually during or after intense use, usually indicates Medial Epicondylitis. Because people who play golf sometimes develop this problem it has become known as ‘golfer’s elbow’.


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Causes of Medial Epicondylitis
Overuse of the wrist extensors can create cumulative stress on the tendon.

Treatment of Medial Epicondylitis
Discontinuing activities that cause the pain is the first step to proper treatment of medial epicondylitis. Icing the elbow for 10-15 minutes at a time will decrease the inflammation and swelling and relieve pain.

Wrapping the forearm near the elbow may help protect the injured muscles as they are healing. In some cases, a wrist splint may be recommended for the same purpose. Anti-inflammatory medication may help reduce inflammation and pain.

In chronic or intense cases, a cortisone injection may relieve the discomfort. Exercises that stretch and strengthen the muscles will help prevent the condition from returning. Recurrence of this condition is common, and return to activity should not occur too quickly.

If nonsurgical forms of treatment do not eliminate the pain of this condition, surgery may be recommended. A hand specialist can offer advise regarding potential treatments and the possible outcomes.

Medial epicondylitis is often a nagging or chronic condition sometimes requiring many months for healing to occur.


Elizabeth Quinn

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