Medial Epicondylitis (Golfer’s Elbow)

Understanding & Treating Golfer’s Elbow

Medial Epicondylitis, commonly known as “Golfer’s Elbow,” is a condition that causes pain and inflammation in the tendons that connect the forearm muscles to the inside of the elbow. Despite its name, this condition doesn’t solely affect golfers; it can impact anyone who performs repetitive wrist and forearm motions, such as throwing sports athletes, weightlifters, and even professionals like carpenters and plumbers.

The pain of Golfer’s Elbow typically centers on the bony bump on the inside of the elbow, where the tendons attach, and it can spread into the forearm. Unlike its counterpart, Lateral Epicondylitis or “Tennis Elbow,” which affects the outer elbow, Medial Epicondylitis targets the inner side. Activities that involve gripping or twisting—like swinging a golf club or using a screwdriver—can exacerbate the pain, making even simple tasks uncomfortable.

The root cause of Golfer’s Elbow is overuse and strain. Repeatedly using the same muscles can create tiny tears in the tendons, leading to inflammation and pain. It’s the body’s way of signaling that a particular area needs rest and healing.

Diagnosis is typically based on a physical examination and the patient’s history of activities and symptoms. In some cases, imaging tests like X-rays or MRIs may be used to rule out other conditions.

We Can Help
Treatment often starts with conservative approaches: rest to allow the tendons to heal, ice to reduce inflammation, and over-the-counter pain relievers to manage discomfort. Physical therapy exercises can strengthen and stretch the forearm muscles, helping to prevent future injuries. In more persistent cases, medical treatments such as braces, steroid injections, or even surgery may be considered.

Prevention is key. Proper technique in sports and activities, along with regular strength and flexibility exercises, can help avoid the onset of Golfer’s Elbow. Taking breaks during activities that involve repetitive motion can also be beneficial. With the right approach, most people can recover fully from Medial Epicondylitis and return to their favorite activities pain-free.