Golfer’s elbow, also known as Medial Epicondilytis is a condition where the tendons on the inner side of the elbow become painful. This happens when the forearm muscles, mainly the one’s responsible for flexing the wrist, that attach to the elbow develop micro-tears due to overload, which then leads to pain and inflammation.
Other names include: Thrower’s elbow and Pitchers elbow.
Symptoms Elbow and/or forearm pain on gripping, pulling or pushing activities. Especially in activities that involve explosive or forceful elbow extension such as push-ups, punching or batting.
Causes As mentioned above this is an overload injury. This is when the tissue, in this case the tendons, are loaded more than they can hold. Load may be in the form of weight, speed or frequency, especially for repetitive movements. Examples: throwing, push-ups, overhead throwers,
Treatment Treatment basically involves unloading of your tendon, which may be done through a combination of techniques from soft tissue release to stretching or taping. Progressive strengthening and loading of the tendon, and finally restoration of normal movement follows this stage. *If left untreated, Golfer’s elbow may turn into a chronic condition that often reoccurs.
Assessment It is important to get a correct diagnosis as other conditions may also present similarly. These conditions may be: ulnar nerve disorders, cervical radiculopathy, injured ulnar collateral ligament, altered distal triceps anatomy or joint disorders. In children, it is also important to clear “Little League elbow” or fractures on the elbow after a traumatic event.
Risk There is increased risk of developing the condition among people who perform repetitive twisting and bending of the wrists. Some professions such as carpenters, plumbers, construction workers, painters have been found to be part of this risk group, as well as “overhead” athletes such as golfers, tennis and baseball players.
Prevention Warm up properly before activities Strengthen forearm and shoulder muscles Use correct form and equipment during activity.
Please feel free to contact your physio for more information or advice.