Thursday, 28 February 2013

Golfer’s Elbow (Medial Epicondylitis)

In my last blog, I wrote about the common condition, tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis. In this article, I will discuss a similar, but not as common condition, golfer’s elbow, or medial epicondylitis.

What is Golfer’s Elbow?
Golfer’s elbow, or medial epicondylitis, is the inflammation of the tendons that run over the medial epicondyle of the elbow joint, more specifically, the tendons of the flexor carpi radialis and pronator teres muscles. This is the inside of the elbow, as opposed to lateral epicondylitis, which affects the outside of the elbow.

Golfer’s elbow is similar to tennis elbow in that it is also an overuse injury; however, in this case, excessive strain is placed on the medial muscles of the forearm during the acceleration phase of the throwing action.

Swelling, pain and tenderness are usually felt over the inside of the elbow and may continue down the inner forearm muscles. Pain is exacerbated by resisted flexion of the wrist. As with tennis elbow, pain increases with increased activity.

Management and Rehabilitation
The initial pain and swelling can be managed with rest, ice and anti-inflammatory drugs. Physiotherapy is also recommended to help decrease the acute pain and inflammation. Any activities that cause pain, especially overhead and throwing actions should be avoided. Gentle range of motion exercises should be done initially, together with light strengthening exercises, all within a pain-free range. Range of motion and strength of the wrist and shoulder should be maintained as far as possible. A Biokineticist should be consulted, so that progression is appropriate and the technique correct.

(Foundations of Athletic Training)

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