Medial epicondylitis, or golfer’s elbow, is a painful condition that affects not just athletes, but anyone who performs repetitive motions of the wrist, forearm, or elbow. It is caused by inflammation of the tendons that join the forearm muscles on the inside of your elbow, usually from overuse.
The elbow is made up of three long bones, the humerus above and the ulna and radius below. There are bony bumps at the end of the humerus called epicondyles. The one on the pinky side of the elbow is the medial epicondyle and the other is called the lateral epicondyle. Tendons attach the wrist flexor muscles to the medial epicondyle. The wrist flexor muscles stabilize the wrist during a golf swing, and repetitive forces can cause irritation. Other activities that can cause this overuse injury are:
- repetitive wrench or screwdriver use
- computer mouse use
When done repetitively, these motions can cause micro-tears in the tendons at the medial epicondyle, causing inflammation and pain. Symptoms of medial epicondylitis include:
- pain or burning on the inside of your elbow
- grip weakness
These symptoms are usually worse with wrist and forearm use, such as shaking handsor any of the activities that can cause the micro-tears listed above. Your dominant arm is more commonly affected, but it can happen in either or even both arms.
Your doctor will most likely prescribe physical therapy, anti-inflammatories, and equipment modification. If symptoms persist longer than 6 to 8 months with non-invasive treatment, your doctor may suggest surgical intervention.
If you are experiencing any kind of elbow pain or have been diagnosed with medial epicondylitis, contact us for a free consultation. To request an appointment, click here, or call directly to one of our three locations during regular business hours:
Cool Springs: 615-224-9810
Spring Hill: 931-489-2022