Golfer’s Elbow is a condition that refers to pain on the inside of the elbow. The pain occurs at the bony bump on the inner aspect of the elbow where the flexor tendons of the forearm attach to the part of the elbow called the medial epicondyle.
Therefore, Golfer’s Elbow is also known as Medial Epicondylitis.
This pain is caused by inflammation of one of the tendons that join the forearm muscles to the elbow.
- The main symptom is tenderness and pain in the inside of the elbow.
- Having less strength than usual when grasping items or squeezing your hand into a fist.
- Pain spreading down your arm. Bending your wrist, twisting your forearm down, or grasping objects can worsen the pain.
- Worsening pain when lifting a heavy object with your palm up.
Golfer’s Elbow can happen to anyone due to repetitive overuse of the common flexor muscles of the forearm or after a traumatic injury to the tendon. The pain can be caused by the following activities:
- Swinging a golf club
- Swinging a racket forward
- Hammering nails
- Squeezing a ball
- Upper limb gym workout such as weight training
Your doctor would first question your general health and symptoms before conducting a thorough physical examination.
Diagnosis is made based on your reported symptoms, physical examination, and investigations.
Imaging test such as an X-ray may be ordered so your doctor can confirm the diagnosis while ruling out other injuries associated to the elbow.
- Rest the elbow.
- Apply ice or a cold compress to the elbow and inner part of the forearm to reduce inflammation.
- Stretching and strengthening exercises for the elbow muscles.
- Elbow taping or Golfer’s Elbow strap.
- Medications such as painkillers or Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) can relieve pain and inflammation.
- Corticosteroid injection may be recommended to reduce inflammation if you are not responding well to the treatments above.
- Surgery is usually only considered if all other treatments have not been successful.
- Surgery may involve the removal of damaged tissue, scar tissue build-up, or extra bones that may be pressing on the tendon.
- Depending on the type of treatment and need for surgery, recovery time ranges from 4 weeks to 6 months or more for severe cases.
Gleneagles Hospital works with orthopaedic specialists to assist patients through diagnosis and treatment. The caring and multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals are available for consultation and to provide the best care.