Medial Epicondylar Release
Golfer’s Elbow Treatment
Medical Epicondylitis is the technical term for golfer’s elbow. It is a condition that causes a great deal of pain. It is the result of the muscle contracting repeatedly in the forearm. This movement causes inflammation and small tears in the tendons attached to it. While it is similar to tennis elbow, there are some differences. The main one is golfer’s elbow affects the inside and tennis elbow affects the outside regions of the elbow. Both of them cause the tendons to become inflamed, resulting in pain.
The symptoms of golfer’s elbow include pain that isn’t going away. While most people experience it getting worse and worse over time, it can come on suddenly in some patients. The pain is on the inner side of the elbow and more noticeable when the arm is moving. The elbow will become stiff and a person’s range of motion will be reduced. The pain may move down the arm, into the wrist, and even affect the hand.
A weak grip can be a symptom of golfer’s elbow. In fact, the pain will be noticeably worse when the person is trying to grip something. The pain also gets worse when the wrist is bent. Some people think they have arthritis and they don’t seek help because they think it is just a sign of getting older.
Signs and symptoms of Golfer’s Elbow can include the following:
- Elbow pain that appears suddenly or gradually
- Achy pain to the inner side of the elbow during activity
- Elbow stiffness with decreased range of motion
- Pain may radiate to the inner forearm, hand or wrist
- Weakened grip
- Pain worsens with gripping objects
- Pain is exacerbated in the elbow when the wrist is flexed or bent forward toward the forearm
There are several potential underlying causes of golfer’s elbow. It is mainly the result of the same repeat motions over and over with the muscles in the forearm. However, it can also be the result of an injury at work, a car accident, or a fall. The name does stem from the fact that many who play golf develop it. This is often the result of the wrong technique used to hit the ball. Other causes can include sports, yard work, and typing for long periods of time.
Getting a Diagnosis
Seek medical attention for any such pain. Share information with your doctor regarding your types of activities and your job. They will look at your medical history and examine the elbow. They may ask you to go in for x-ray so they can rule out various types of problems including a fracture. An MRI may be required if they aren’t able to make a successful diagnosis from the x-ray.
There are various treatment options your doctor will consider for your needs once they have completed their assessment. First, you will need to follow orders and limit certain activities. This can be sports, job related tasks, and yard work. You may need to wear a split in order to allow the elbow to heal. Applying ice several times a day can help to reduce swelling and pain. Medications to reduce inflammation may be prescribed or you may need to go in for steroid injections.
Physical therapy is often part of the treatment plan as it helps the tendons to get stronger. You may be asked to try various stretching exercises at home too. This will help you to regain your range of motion. If the injury is believed to be sports related you will be encouraged to get proper training for your swing once you can play golf again.
When such treatment options don’t work, surgery may be the next option to consider. Most surgeons won’t conduct procedure unless the problem has gone on for more than 6 months or the patient is in a great deal of ongoing pain. The procedure involves anesthesia and the damaged tissue around the inner elbow is removed. This will help to promote better blood flow, reduce pain, and increase mobility.
Proudly serving patients across New Jersey and Bergen County from our office in Hackensack. Whether you are in Jersey City, Rutherford, Garfield, Lodi, Ridgewood, Nutley, or Englewood, NJ, we look forward to addressing your questions and providing you with the treatment you need.