Golfer’s Elbow (Medial Epicondylitis)
a.k.a. Golfer’s Elbow
Medial epicondylitis — more commonly known as golfer’s elbow or pitcher’s elbow — is a type of tendinopathy that occurs at the inside of the elbow. The tendons on the inside of the forearm that connect to the inside of the elbow are sometimes damaged by repeated stress from motions like throwing or swinging a golf club, hence the name. This is a common overuse injury that we see at MOTUS, and maintaining good form and strengthening routines is crucial to correct it and prevent it.
Two things are misleading about the nickname for medial epicondylitis. For one thing, the problem and the symptoms are not always centered around the elbow. Patients with golfer’s usually feel pain in the forearm or wrist, as well as in the wrist flexor muscles near the elbow. Everything in the arm and shoulder is connected and will affect how a person throws, swings a tennis racket, or performs other upper body tasks, so treating the problem might be about focusing on joints and muscles outside of the elbow.
The other misleading thing about the nickname is that golfer’s elbow affects many people other than golfers. In fact, one study suggested that only about 10% of cases are related to sports in general. However, as a sports specific clinic, we specialize in treating athletes in particular who have developed golfer’s elbow as a result of their sport.
Tendinopathy develops from micro-tearing that doesn’t have a chance to heal itself in between uses. Athletes who are constantly throwing or swinging may put their
elbow and forearm under regular stress. As this occurs, the body reacts and tries to heal the tendon by forming scar tissue. This can make the elbow sensitive and stiff, and will affect the athlete’s performance in addition to causing discomfort.
If you are an athlete in a throwing or racquet sport who has experienced pain at the inner elbow accompanied by pain in the arm, wrist, or hand, we suggest setting up an appointment at MOTUS. We have had years of experience in diagnosing golfer’s elbow, and will be able to help treat your pain as well as improve your practice. Our clinic uses innovative tools such as shock wave therapy and pulsed electromagnetic field therapy to help reduce inflammation and pain. Next, our clinicians will design a recovery and prevention plan for you that might include strengthening and range of motion exercise and technique and functional training. These will address your entire form, posture, and performance to help you reduce your chance of injury.