What is Golfer’s Elbow (medial epicondylitis)?
Golfer’s elbow (technically known as medial epicondylitis) is a condition of the flexor muscle and tendon fibers located at the inside (medial aspect) of the arm at the elbow. It is a specific type of tendonitis. If we break down the medical terminology, it makes sense: “medial” (inside aspect) “epicondyle” (portion of bone to which the tendon adheres) “itis” (inflammation). Golfers and throwing athletes (baseball, football, etc.) commonly suffer from this condition due the repetitive motion and stress placed on the flexor tendons. This condition may also develop with a single action. Although it can occur at any time, it is more common at the beginning of the season; individuals who are inadequately conditioned are prone to this injury. If you are suffering from golfer’s elbow, you will notice elbow pain/burning that increases with increased activity. The pain may radiate, and you might also notice that your ability to grasp is decreased.
How is Golfer’s Elbow Diagnosed?
Golfer’s elbow is generally diagnosed by detailed history and physical exam. Your chiropractor will ask you questions like what makes it worse, what makes it better, how/when it began, and what it feels like. Next, an exam will be performed; your chiropractor will palpate (examine by touch) the anatomical structures of the elbow. He/she will then assess the elbow’s motion and perform specific orthopedic tests. Occasionally imaging will be ordered to rule out other conditions; however golfer’s elbow cannot be seen on an x-ray or MRI.
What Are the Options for Treating Golfer’s Elbow?
Golfer’s elbow is commonly evaluated and successfully treated at Lehigh Valley Chiropractic. In most cases, conservative management is successful and most people who suffer from golfer’s elbow will not require invasive treatments like surgery. The chiropractors at Lehigh Valley Chiropractic will develop a treatment plan that will work for you. Joint manipulation and manual therapy (such as Active Release Technique), taping, bracing, ice massage, ultrasound, therapeutic strengthening/stretching exercises, and rest are often included in that plan.
- Diagnosis and treatment of medial epicondylitis of the elbow. Ciccotti MC, Schwartz MA, Ciccotti MG.
- Comparison of two methods for the evaluation of treatment in medial epicondylitis: pain estimation vs grip strength measurements. Rosenberg N, Soudry M, Stahl S. Arch Orthop Trauma Surg. 2004 Jul;124(6):363-5. Epub 2004 Apr 24.