Golfer’s elbow, also known as medial epicondylitis, is a condition that causes pain where the tendons of your forearm muscles attach to the bony bump on the inside of the elbow. While a common injury among golfers, it is not limited to athletes. Like tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis), golfer’s elbow results from excessive or repeated use of the tendons in your forearm.
While golfer’s elbow is a frustrating and painful condition, the good news is that conservative treatments are effective at improving symptoms for most patients. The first step to getting back on the golf course (or simply back to your normal activities) pain-free is to schedule an appointment at Mirza Orthopedics. We are Long Island’s leading orthopedic practice, dedicated to providing personalized and expert care using both nonsurgical and advanced surgical techniques, including minimally invasive and arthroscopic surgeries. For pain relief, book an appointment using the form on this page.
What causes golfer’s elbow?
Medial epicondylitis is caused by damage to the tendons connected to the inner (medial) side of your elbow, which are attached to the muscles that flex your wrist and contract your fingers when you grip something. The damage is typically related to excess or repeated stress, particularly caused by forceful wrist and finger motions. While golfing, racket sports, throwing sports, and weight lifting are all potential culprits, any activity that requires repeatedly bending and straightening your elbow can cause golfer’s elbow.
You may be more likely to develop medial epicondylitis if:
- You are over the age of 40
- You have weak forearm muscles
- You perform repetitive activities using your forearms for at least two hours a day, particularly if your job requires this type of activity
- You have improper form, grip or technique when golfing, which is especially common for new golfers
What are the symptoms of golfer’s elbow?
If you have golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis) you will likely experience:
- Pain and tenderness on the inside of the upper arm near the elbow
- Pain that extends along the inner side of your forearm
- Stiffness in the elbow
- Discomfort when making a fist with your hand
- Weakness in the hands and/or wrists
- Tingling or numbness in the pinky and/or ring finger
Your symptoms may appear suddenly or develop gradually over time.
What does treatment for golfer’s elbow entail?
For many patients, golfer’s elbow can be entirely treated with conservative measures, including:
- Applying ice
- Taking anti-inflammatory medications
- Wearing a splint
- Completing stretching and strengthening exercises
- Getting steroid injections
Surgical treatment for golfer’s elbow is seldom necessary. But if your symptoms don’t respond to conservative treatment within six months to a year, surgery may be an option.
If you are suffering from the symptoms of medial epicondylitis, the first step to relieving your discomfort is to have a consultation with our Smithtown orthopedic practice that specializes in golfer’s elbow treatment to learn about your options. Contact Mirza Orthopedics today to schedule an appointment.