Golfer’s elbow, or medial epicondylitis, is a condition that causes pain where the tendons of the forearm muscles attach to the bony bump on the inside of the elbow. The pain can spread into the forearm and wrists. A golfer’s elbow is similar to a tennis elbow, which occurs on the outside of the elbow. Like tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow is a common problem for people in high-intensity interval training programs, which results in repetitive strain to the muscles that grip and lift.
Golfer’s elbow doesn’t exclusively affect golfers. For the muscles in the body, a person is guaranteed to participate in at least one activity or occupation that involves repetitive stress to that specific structure. While the primary treatment for this condition is pain medication and rest, at NJ Spine & Orthopedic, we can provide you with further advice on how to treat your injury. For instance, directing you to specific strengthening and flexibility exercises for your golfer’s elbow.
Debunking 3 Misconceptions About Golfer’s Elbow
Like with many medical conditions, a few misconceptions about Golfer’s Elbow are important to unlearn.
1. Golfer’s Elbow Is the Same as Tennis Elbow
It’s common for people to think that tennis and golfer’s elbow are the same. While the two share similar causes and symptoms, the two conditions are entirely different. Both conditions result from repetition and overuse and cause pain along the forearm and elbow. However, tennis elbow is damage to the outside of the elbow, while golfer’s elbow is damage to the inside of the elbow.
Golfer’s elbow affects the flexor tendons, whereas tennis elbow affects the extensor tendons of the forearm. Both groups of muscles control the wrist’s motion, which is why repetitive gripping can aggravate symptoms.
2. Golfer’s Elbow Only Affects Golfers
Despite the name, golfer’s elbow is linked more to an occupational injury than a sports injury. The injury is related to how the elbow moves in relation to the wrists and the force placed on the elbow when the wrist is flexed. Medial epicondylitis, the medical condition more commonly referred to as golfer’s elbow, is attributed to the impact placed on the elbow when a golfer accidentally hits the ground on a downward swing. However, any forceful movement that requires a firm grip while flexing the wrist can do the same damage.
The combination of a firm grip and a flexed wrist can place a lot of stress on the inner elbow if the opposing force is great enough. Over time, this stress can lead to tiny tears in the tendon, which may develop into tendinitis or tendinopathy.
3. Golfer’s Elbow Is Caused by a Tear in the Tendon
While the common cause of golfer’s elbow is a tear in the tendon, there are other reasons someone may have pain near the medial epicondyle of the elbow. Sometimes it’s due to chronic inflammation in the ear from repeated stress that is causing the pain. In other cases, the pain may be due to radiculopathy from the neck. Radiculopathy means that pain radiates down the arm in a specific path due to a dysfunction in the cervical spine.
Contact the Experienced and Skilled Surgeons at NJ Spine & Orthopedic
When it comes to chronic pain, it’s important to have skilled medical professionals who can find the best treatment options. At NJ Spine & Orthopedic, our board-certified medical team is skilled in the latest minimally invasive techniques to deliver long-lasting solutions for your pain.
NJ Spine & Orthopedic offers expert diagnosis and treatment for pain and dysfunction caused by trauma, failed neck and back surgeries, deformities, and other spinal-related issues. With our combined expertise and advanced technology, we can ensure our patients get the best possible outcomes. Schedule an appointment today at (866) 553-0612 or complete our contact form.