Golfer's elbow

golfer's elbow

What is golfer's elbow?

Golfer's elbow (medial epicondylitis) arises as a result of inflammation of the tendons that insert into the bony bump on the inside portion of the elbow (the medial epicondyle).

Symptoms of golfer's elbow

There is pain and tenderness over the inner part of the elbow. Pain may spread down the forearm. You may notice loss of strength when grasping items or squeezing your hand into a fist.

Causes

Golfer's elbow, as the name implies, can be triggered by playing golf. It can also be caused by other activities such as tennis, baseball, hammering or chopping wood.

Golfer's elbow is an overuse injury which if not treated is likely to get progressively worse.

Treatment of golfer's elbow

Initial treatment involves applying ice, resting the arm and the use of anti-inflammatory medicines.

Special exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles of the forearm are usually recommended and physiotherapy can help. Once the pain has resolved, a gradual return to the sport involved is often recommended.

For severe persistent pain you may be offered local steroid injections or surgery.

References

1. MayoClinic.com. Golfer’s elbow (updated 9 Oct 2012). http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/golfers-elbow/basics/prevention/con-20027964 (accessed May 2014).
2. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). Golf injury prevention (updated August 2011). http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00137 (accessed May 2014).
3. Merck Manual for Health Care Professionals. Medial epicondylitis (updated Nov 2010). http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/injuries_poisoning/sports_injury/medial_epicondylitis.html (accessed May 2014).
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