Medial Epicondylitis (Golfer’s or Baseball Elbow)

Golfer's Elbow Causes

Golfer’s elbow causes | symptoms and treatment

You are well aware of tennis elbow. Golfer’s elbow or medial epicondylitis is quite opposite to the tennis elbow in terms of its effects. In this condition, you feel pain inside the elbow in the region of the bony bump due to cumulative damage and irritation in the tendons. These tendons attach to the muscles of the forearm.  Whereas in tennis elbow, you feel pain outside of the elbow.

Is Golfer’s Elbow associated with Golfers Only?

Many people think that this condition is confined only to golfers, but it is not the case. Many active individuals and competitive athletes can develop this condition.

Forearm muscles and tendons help your wrist and fingers to move, twist and grip objects – such as a hammer, tennis racket, golf ball, or tennis ball. If you develop a golfer’s elbow, you may feel pain and difficulty gripping objects and playing. Affected individuals often experience pain or soreness at the inside of the elbow during or after activity.

What causes the golfer’s elbow?

Golfer’s elbow causes: Damage to the tendons and muscles that control wrist and finger movement causes golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis). People who are involved in forceful finger and wrist motions are subjected to repeated or excess stress. Repeated twisting and forceful gripping activities, poor conditioning, not doing warmup before any sporting activity; improper hitting, throwing, or lifting can lead to a golfer’s elbow.

What are the signs and symptoms of medial epicondylitis?

Golfer’s elbow symptoms: You may feel pain and tenderness in the funny bone region or in the bony bump. The pain is progressive and may radiate to the forearm. The pain can come on suddenly or gradually.

In the beginning, pain mainly occurs after activity, but may begin to interfere with activity. Once the pain starts to interfere, it will become difficult to pick up objects and grip door handles.

Another symptom is morning stiffness in the elbow or after a period of inactivity. You will feel stiffness when the elbow is fully straightened and slightly bend. Poor grip strength associated with pain

Golfer’s elbow causes and symptoms: Tingling sensation, numbness, and swelling are uncommon unless there is an injury. However, when the ulnar nerve that passes near the tendons gets irritated, you may feel pain, numbness, and tingling sensation in the fingers.

What is the treatment?

The goal of treatment is to identify and treat the cause (which is usually overuse or poor technique), reduce the pain and irritation, promote healing, and strengthen the muscles and tendons to prevent a recurrence. 

When to see a doctor?

The first line of care is the use of over-the-counter pain relievers, the application of ice packs, and taking rest. Even after taking these measures if the pain and tenderness don’t ease, then seek a consultation with an orthopedic doctor who specializes in sports medicine. You must immediately seek care if:

  • Elbow pain is severe and you can’t bend your elbow
  • The elbow looks deformed
  • Your elbow has swelling
  • You have a fever with a swollen, hot, and inflamed elbow
  • You suspect you’ve broken a bone