Medial epicondylitis is a type of tendinitis that affects the elbow joint. The medial epicondyle is a bony bump on the inside of the elbow joint. When the joint is overused or injured, it can cause inflammation and pain.
Medial epicondylitis is also commonly called:
- Golfer’s elbow
- Baseball elbow
- Suitcase elbow
Medial epicondylitis can be fixed through rest, anti-inflammatory medications, and rehabilitation exercises.
What causes medial epicondylitis?
Often, the condition is caused by excessive use of the joint during inward rotatory movements of the wrist and fingers. Poor posture while playing sports and repetitive stress can cause micro-tears in the tendons of the forearm muscles, leading to inflammation and restricted movement of the elbow joint.
Activities that can cause medial epicondylitis include:
- Playing sports such as golf, baseball, rowing and badminton
- Carrying heavy weights
- Construction workers
What are the signs and symptoms of medial epicondylitis?
Signs and symptoms of medial epicondylitis include:
- Pain around the wrist joint (pain can involve the entire medial side of the forearm and palm)
- Limited elbow movements
- Red and swollen elbow
- Stiff elbow
- Weakening of wrist movements
- Tingling sensation on the forearm and wrist
How is medial epicondylitis diagnosed?
During a physical examination, your doctor will keep your arm on a table and apply pressure while asking you to flex your arm. If you aren’t able to flex your arm and complain of pain, a diagnosis of golfer’s elbow will be confirmed.
In addition to this exam, your doctor may order an X-ray to assess the inflammatory situation of the bones inside your arm.
How is medial epicondylitis treated?
Typically, firstline treatment of medial epicondylitis involves restricting the movement of the affected elbow to stop the inflammation from progressing. Treatment may also include:
- Applying ice packs
- Strengthening exercises
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for pain
In severe cases, the following treatment may be necessary
- Corticosteroid injections administered into the elbow joint
Rehabilitation exercises for medial epicondylitis include:
- Squeezing exercises: Helps build strength in the forearm
- Finger extensions: Involves squeezing your fingers together using a rubber band, then extending your fingers as much as possible
- Wrist extensions: Involves slowly lifting and lowering your wrist, and can be done with increasing weights for greater strength building
- Forearm pronation and supination: Involves moving your palm to face upwards and then face downwards
Can medial epicondylitis be prevented?
Golfer’s elbow can be prevented with the following measures:
- Avoiding overuse of one elbow
- Wearing proper supportive equipment if needed
- Stretching the elbow before intense activity
- Building elbow strength to avoid injury
- Resting the joint in between activities to allow for healing
- Stopping activity if pain occurs
- Practicing proper form and posture when playing sports
With proper preventative measures and resting of the arm, medial epicondylitis can be completely avoided.
What is the prognosis of medial epicondylitis?
Chances of full recovery of the elbow are very high if the condition is timely and properly managed. However, if ignored for a long time, it can lead to permanent erosion and damage of the elbow joint and loss of function. It is therefore important not to ignore pain around the elbow to avoid complications.
Young CC. Medial Epicondylitis. Medscape. https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/97217-overview
Top How Do You Fix Medial Epicondylitis Related Articles
Arthritis: Causes and Treatment for Joint Stiffness and PainArthritis and injuries can leave your joints swollen, tender, and damaged. Discover treatments for morning stiffness, sore joints, hip pain, and other conditions. Learn when it’s time to call a health care professional, as well as joint-friendly exercises that can bring pain relief and ease of movement for arthritis sufferers and others.
Elbow PainElbow pain is most often the result of tendinitis, which can affect the inner or outer elbow. Treatment includes ice, rest, and medication for inflammation. Inflammation, redness, warmth, swelling, tenderness, and decreased range of motion are other symptoms associated with elbow pain. Treatment for elbow pain depends upon the nature of the patient's underlying disease or condition.
Hip BursitisBursitis of the hip results when the fluid-filled sac (bursa) near the hip becomes inflamed due to localized soft tissue trauma or strain. Symptoms include stiffness and pain around the hip joint. If the hip bursa is not infected, hip bursitis can be treated with ice compresses, rest, and anti-inflammatory and pain medications.
How Do You Inject Lateral Epicondylitis?Lateral epicondylitis, or tennis elbow, is a painful condition of the elbow due to its overuse or strenuous activity that causes pain in the elbow and arm. A lateral epicondyle injection is performed as an outpatient procedure. Complications include infection, tendonitis (inflammation of the tendon), nerve injury, transient increase in pain, skin discoloration, skin atrophy (wasting), hormonal imbalances, and localized osteoporosis (a medical condition in which the bones become brittle and fragile). Rupture of the tendon because of repeated injections
OA & Your JointsDealing with joint pain and arthritis? Learn why weight matters--and why NOT to stretch before exercise. See these solutions for joint pain and tips to protect your joints from damage.
Tendinitis and Tendon Injuries: How It's Diagnosed?Tendons are flexible bands of thick tissue that connect your muscles to bones. They help to move the muscles or bones of your shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee, and ankle joints.
Tendinitis CausesIf your tendons get irritated and swollen, you might have tendinitis. Learn the symptoms and find out how you can prevent and treat the condition.
Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis)Tennis elbow is also known as lateral epicondylitis. Symptoms of tennis elbow include tenderness and dull pain of the outer elbow. Resting, applying cold packs, and taking anti-inflammatory medications are usually effective treatments for tennis elbow.
What Foods Cause Joint Pain?With arthritis, the constant pain and stiffness often lead the body to be in a state of stress or "inflammation." Foods that cause joint pain include heavily processed foods, red meat, foods high in sugar, fried foods, alcohol and foods rich in MSG, refined carbohydrates, gluten and purines.
What Is the Best Treatment for Golfer's Elbow?Treatment for golfer’s elbow can include rest, wearing an elbow brace and electrotherapy. For more severe cases, medication and surgery may be required.