In Medial Epicondylitis, also known as “golfer’s elbow,” the tendinous attachment of the forearm flexor muscles at the inside of the elbow are inflamed. Forceful and repeated bending of the wrist and fingers cause tiny ruptures of the muscles and tendon to this area. In the golf swing, the flexor muscles and tendons must tighten to hit the ball. Similar movements like bend of the wrist, gripping, grasping and turning the hand can aggravate the condition. Small tears in the muscle begin to heal, but if the tissue is tight, it can be re-injured by continued use. Symptoms include tenderness and pain at the inside of the elbow (the “funny bone”), made worse with flexing the wrist.
Physical Therapy Treatment Plan: After careful evaluation by a physical or occupational therapist, the first step in treating this condition is to reduce pain and inflammation and gain flexibility in the healing muscle and tendon.
Treatments may include massage, heat/cold therapy, iontophoresis, phonophoresis, electrical stimulus, activity modification, and use of a counterforce strap and/or wrist support. Your physician may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications, or you may receive a local steroid injection. In physical therapy, gentle stretching and isometric strengthening will be added and progressed to resistive exercises as you are able.
After your initial prescription for therapy is completed, your physician and therapist will decide if you need to continue therapy or if you will be discharged to a home exercise program.
This information is provided as a learning resource for the benefit of our patients. It is NOT INTENDED to replace personal consultation with your medical professionals.