Medial Epicondylitis (Golfer's and Baseball Elbow)
What is medial epicondylitis?
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Medial epicondylitis is also known as golfer's elbow, baseball elbow, suitcase elbow, or forehand tennis elbow. It's characterized by pain from the elbow to the wrist on the inside (medial side) of the elbow. The pain is caused by damage to the tendons that bend the wrist toward the palm. A tendon is a tough cord of tissue that connects muscles to bones.
What causes medial epicondylitis?
Medial epicondylitis is caused by the excessive force used to bend the wrist toward the palm. This can happen when swinging a golf club or pitching a baseball. Other possible causes of medial epicondylitis include:
Serving with great force in tennis or using a spin serve
Weak shoulder and wrist muscles
Using a too tightly strung, too short, or too heavy tennis racket
Throwing a javelin
Carrying a heavy suitcase
Chopping wood with an ax
Operating a chain saw
Frequent use of other hand tools on a continuous basis
What are the symptoms of medial epicondylitis?
The most common symptom of medial epicondylitis is pain along the palm side of the forearm, from the elbow to the wrist, on the same side as the little finger. The pain can be felt when bending the wrist toward the palm against resistance, or when squeezing a rubber ball.
The symptoms of medial epicondylitis may look like other medical problems or conditions. Always see your doctor for a diagnosis.
How is medial epicondylitis diagnosed?
The diagnosis of medial epicondylitis usually can be made based on a physical examination. The doctor may rest the arm on a table, palm side up, and ask the person to raise the hand by bending the wrist against resistance. If a person has medial epicondylitis, pain usually is felt in the inner aspect of the elbow.
Treatment for medial epicondylitis
Treatment for medial epicondylitis includes stopping the activity that produces the symptoms. It is important to avoid the movement that caused the condition in the first place. Treatment may include:
Ice pack application (to reduce inflammation)
- Dozier, Tennille, RN, BSN, RDMS
- Ogiela, Dennis, MD