Medial Epicondylitis or Golfers Elbow
The following is an overview of a common condition that leads to micro-trauma in the wrist flexor tendons at the elbow, plus a number of contributing factors that should be checked.
For those who suffer with medial epicondylitis it commonly occurs in the dominant arm. Although this is often referred to as golfer’s elbow many suffers don’t play golf, people that grip tightly – weight lifting can often get this injury as well as occupations such as carpentry. The cause is due to repeated wrist flexion (bending) particularly against resistance.
Tenderness often starts to occur on the inside of the elbow whereby the flexor muscles attach. Once the injury occurs it can easily be exacerbated with simple everyday activities such as pouring a kettle, driving or DIY.
Assessment of your condition should include examination of the neck and shoulders to find any predisposing factors as well as mechanical imbalances caused by compensation. These areas need correcting in the rehab phase to ensure a full recovery. Other checks should include checking technique for activity/work. Often rest is advised but not only from sport, but also daily activities should be completed using the other hand wherever possible to allow the irritation to reduce.
Treatment would include alleviating tension in the forearms as the tight muscle will be pulling, this would be done by soft tissue massage, stretching and/or dry needling. Articulation of joints ranging from the wrist and hands up into the elbow, shoulder and neck will help to ensure joints are functioning well. Ice may also be advised to reduce the inflammation in the area caused by the irritation, this will also help alleviate pain. Once the injury is out of the acute stage heat may be more beneficial.
Rest is essential in the early stages of the injury, once this is completed the key to a successful return to activity is to get full flexibility and strength in the muscles and tendons. Return to activity should be gradual and in moderation to reduce the chance of reoccurrence of the injury.
Osteopath at BeActive Clinic