Medial Epicondylitis (Golfer’s Elbow Pain) Sioux City
Medial Epicondylitis OR Golfer’s Elbow
Medial epicondylitis is also known as golfer’s elbow, which is a pain on the medial side of the elbow. The muscles that attach to this area are responsible for wrist flexion and strongly grasping items, such as a golf club. In golfers, it is more common when holding the club too tight or grounding the club. Most cases involve overworking the forearm muscles with grabbing, pulling, or vibrating power tools. Most cases of medial epicondylitis are caused by chronic repetitive motions instead of acute traumatic injuries.
How Golfer’s Elbow Occurs
Several muscle tendons fuse together and form the common flexor tendon on the inside of the elbow. All the forces that are produced with muscle contraction travel through the tendons, which are made of strong collagen strands. They have high tensile strength to withstand the forces placed upon them.
Over time and through repetition, the tendons can become injured. Continuing to use the muscle tendons places further stress on the broken tissue, leading to further injury to the collagen strands. Since all of the wrist flexor muscles use the same tendons, any wrist flexion or gripping motion will aggravate the injured area.
Common repetitive stress injuries that cause elbow pain occur with activities such as:
- Strongly gripping a golf club or similar activity
Symptoms of Golfer’s Elbow
A person suffering from medial epicondylitis feels:
- Pain in the medial epicondyle of their elbow
- Tightness in forearm muscles
- Pain radiating down the forearm
- Pain increasing with grabbing, holding, or resisted wrist flexion
- Achy pain, with occasional dull pain
- Sharp pain occurring with specific activities
- Tingling, numbness, or “arm going to sleep” feelings in some cases
Diagnosis of Elbow Pain
Chiropractors, physical therapists, or primary care will diagnose your condition through evaluation and examination. Pain localized to the medial aspect of the elbow with muscle contraction, tenderness, swelling, and spasms can indicate elbow tendinitis. X-rays or MRIs are usually not needed for tendinitis.
Other common elbow injuries include lateral epicondylitis, cubital tunnel syndrome, and carpal tunnel.
Treatment for Medial Epicondylitis
Chiropractic techniques and physical therapy specialize in treating elbow tendinitis by decreasing pain, inflammation, and muscle spasms. In-office therapies include electric therapy, massage therapy, cold laser, and the Graston Technique. Chronic elbow tendinitis produces scar tissue in the muscles and tendons. Treatment restores normal muscle movements, decreases scar tissue, and reduces inflammation. Stretching and strengthening exercises will be performed during treatment.
For cases that do not respond, cortisone injections can be given by your primary care to reduce pain and inflammation. Elbow braces will often reduce the daily stress and speed recovery. Anti-inflammatory medications can also help with the recovery and treatment.