Home >Elbow > Inside (Medial)
Medial Epicondylitis (Thrower’s or Golfer’s Elbow)
This injury involves inflammation on the inside of the elbow of the tendons from the muscles that flex the wrist. As the name suggests this injury is common in golfers, javelin throwers and cricket players. Medial epicondylitis may also be caused by tennis during serving or excessive ‘top-spin’.
Symptoms include pain and swelling on the inner side of the elbow, and pain may extend, on the inner side, up above or down below the elbow. There will be a distinct point of pain when touching around the inner elbow (over the medial epicondyle). Other symptoms include wrist weakness and pain when the wrist or fingers are bent forwards against resistance.
Medial Ligament Tear
This injury may occur as an acute injury (in a fall on, or blow to the inside of the forearm, for example), or as a result of chronic stress due to repetitive throwing in sport. This will leads to inflammation of the ligament and subsequent scarring and weakening of the ligament which may lead to rupture in the long term. Symptoms include tenderness on the inside of the elbow joint with an increase in pain if the inside of the joint is separated.
Ulnar Nerve Compression
In throwing or racquet sports the ulnar nerve may be stretched or dislocated from the groove in which it sits on the inside of the elbow. Symptoms may also arise from a blow to the inside of the elbow. Symptoms include pain, pins and needles and numbness radiating to the little finger and ring finger.
Referral Of Pain From Cervical and Thoracic Spine
The outside of the elbow is a common place for pain to be referred to from the neck and upper back. Many chronic elbow problems will have a component that has been caused by referral from the neck or upper back. Symptoms such as pain and stiffness in the neck or upper back may or may not accompany the referred elbow symptoms.
Early Injury Management
For approximately the first 72 hours following an injury, the RICE regime should be followed to ensure control of inflammation and pain relief.
R - Rest
I – Ice
C - Compression
E – Elevation
Rest from aggravating activity.
Ice should be applied in the first 72 hours or when inflammation persists. Ice should be applied for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. Ice should not be applied directly to the skin, but through a wet towel or cloth.
Compression can be achieved with an elastic bandage.
Elevation is used to help swelling to return to the heart through the blood stream.
The injured area should be elevated above the level of the heart.
Strengthening programs should only be commenced when:
Wrist Flexor Stretch
Weight should be the right weight so that 3 times 12 repetitions can be performed easily.