Golfer’s elbow or medial epicondylitis, is a tendinopathy of the flexor muscles of the forearm. This condition is closely related to tennis elbow which occurs on the other side of the elbow.
The flexor muscles are the group of, muscles at the front of the forearm, their tendons insert themselves into the common flexor origin which is the bony prominence on the inside of your elbow. It is at this point that Golfer’s elbow typically presents. Despite the name you do not have to play golf to be affected by Golfer’s elbow because it is caused by the overuse of the forearm muscles. This means any excessive manual/ sporting activity can cause Golfer’s elbow.
Some common causes:
- Overuse of the flexor forearm muscles, this can occur gradually or after an unaccustomed bout of painting etc.
- Excessive pronating of the elbow with the addition of flexion of the wrist, occurs in throwers.
- Poor technique in racket/ club sports.
- Tight/ weak forearm muscles.
- Referred pain from the neck and upper back.
Common symptoms include:
- A dull achy pain on the inside bony aspect of your elbow.
- Pain aggravated by gripping.
Physiotherapy treatment will consist of:
- In the acute stages RICE is the normal treatment.
- Assessment to find the cause of the overuse.
- Soft tissue massage to relieve tight forearm muscles.
- Stretching to restore normal muscle length.
- Exercises to maintain muscle length and strength.
- Technique education.