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  • Writer's pictureRipon Physio Co.

Medial Epicondylitis

Medial Epicondylitis

Pain at your elbow? Maybe it’s Golfers Elbow or Medial Epicondylitis! If you place your hands out, palms towards the ceiling, the inside of your elbow is the area that’s being discussed. The flexors of the forearm insert into the medical epicondyles. Golfers are not the only ones affected !

Medial epicondylitis, commonly known as golfer's elbow, is a painful condition that affects the tendons on the inner side of the elbow. While the name suggests a connection to the golf swing, this condition can impact anyone who repeatedly uses their forearm muscles, not just golfers. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into what medial epicondylitis does, its causes, symptoms, and various treatment options.

The Anatomy of Medial Epicondylitis

Medial epicondylitis is characterized by inflammation and degeneration of the tendons that attach to the medial epicondyle, a bony prominence on the inside of the elbow. The primary muscle involved in this condition is the forearm flexor, which is responsible for bending the wrist and fingers. Overuse or repetitive stress on these tendons can lead to the development of medial epicondylitis.

Causes of Medial Epicondylitis

Repetitive Stress: The most common cause of medial epicondylitis is repetitive stress on the forearm muscles and tendons. This can occur in activities that involve frequent wrist flexion and gripping, such as golf, tennis, baseball, weightlifting, and even activities like typing or using a computer mouse.

Poor Technique: Improper technique in sports or physical activities can contribute to the development of medial epicondylitis. For example, golfers who grip the club too tightly, or tennis players with a flawed backhand technique, are more prone to this condition.

Age and Overuse: As individuals age, tendons become less elastic and more susceptible to injury. Overuse or strain on these tendons over time can lead to medial epicondylitis.

Sudden Force: While repetitive stress is the primary cause, a sudden force or acute injury can also lead to golfer's elbow. This is more common in activities like weightlifting where heavy weights are involved.

Symptoms of Medial Epicondylitis

Medial epicondylitis typically presents with a distinct set of symptoms, which include:

Pain: The most common symptom is pain on the inner side of the elbow. This pain may radiate down
the forearm.

Weakness: Patients often experience weakness in the affected arm, particularly when gripping objects or performing tasks that require wrist flexion.

Stiffness: Stiffness in the elbow joint, especially in the morning or after periods of rest, is common.

Numbness or Tingling: Some individuals may also experience numbness or tingling in the fingers, particularly in the ring and pinky fingers, due to nerve irritation.

Difficulty Extending the Wrist: Patients may find it challenging to fully extend their wrist without pain.

Pain When Gripping: Pain is often exacerbated when gripping objects or performing activities that involve forearm muscles do.
> Occur suddenly or insidious (over time)
> stiffness
> pain around your elbow
> pain when gripping
> pain pulling towards chest
> hand/wrist weakness
> difficult to move after long periods of inactivity
> recent gardening, new activity such as gardening is one to watch out for

Exercise to do!

Flexion stretch for 1 minute
Extension stretch do it for the full one minute

Straighten your arm out, hand out to high five someone and slight pressure on the fingers towards your body and then space the hand around so palm side is facing down and into the body. Place slight pressure on the finger tips to lengthen the extensor muscles. Don’t lock the arm. Keep it slightly bent.

Strengthening the wrist muscles through eccentric strength. Put your arm in 90 degrees, resting on a side arm or a table. Allow the hand to be hanging from the end and hold a light weight, can be a tin of beans to a 1lb weight. Wrist is lowered, bring the weight up towards the ceiling fast, then count to three going down !

Try begin with no weight, aim to achieve 30 of those before moving to a weight.


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