Golfer’s elbow, or medial epicondylitis, is a painful condition of the elbow caused by overuse. Golfer’s elbow is an inflammation of the tendons that join the forearm muscles on the inside of the elbow. The forearm muscles and tendons become damaged from overuse — repeating the same motions again and again.
Your elbow joint is a joint made up of three bones: your upper arm bone (humerus) and the two bones in your forearm (radius and ulna). There are bony bumps at the bottom of the humerus called epicondyles. The bony bump on the outside (lateral side) of the elbow is called the lateral epicondyle. The bony bump on the inside (medial side) of the elbow is called the medial epicondyle.
Medial epicondylitis can occur without any recognized repetitive injury. This occurrence is called “insidious” or of an unknown cause.
The symptoms of golfer’s elbow develop gradually. In most cases, the pain begins as mild and slowly worsens over weeks and months. There is usually no specific injury associated with the start of symptoms.
Common signs and symptoms of tennis elbow include:
- Pain or burning on the inner part of your elbow
- Pain when pressing the medial epicondyle
- Weak grip strength
- The symptoms are often worsened with forearm activity
- Rest. Avoiding activities that exacerbate pain.
- Ice. Ice can be applied to reduce pain and swelling. Apply for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day, to keep swelling down. Do not apply directly to the skin.
- Golfers elbow brace – Using a brace centered over the back of your forearm may also help relieve symptoms of tennis elbow. This can reduce symptoms by resting the muscles and tendons by reducing the pressure these tendons carry.
- Wrist stretching exercises with the elbow straight
- Shockwave therapy
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines. Drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen reduce pain and swelling. Like any over the counter medication, please read and follow the label. If you have a history of stomach ulcers, bleeding ulcers or heart conditions, these medications might not be right for you. Consult your physician if you have any questions
- Topical anti-inflammatories
- Compound Topical Creams
- Steroid (Depo-Medrol, Kenalog, Decadron)
- Blood (PRP – Platelet Rich Plasma)