BACKGROUND INFO: Also referred to as medial epicondylitis or medial epicondyle tendinopathy. Golfers Elbow is a common flexor tendon origin issue. Typically the most common muscles involved are the pronator teres and the flexor carpi radialis, but it can also involve other wrist flexors including the flexor digitorum superficialis, flexor carpi ulnaris, and palmaris longus.1
Most commonly people will report pain with flexing the wrist, pronating the forearm, and wrist deviation. People may also report pain with activities like carrying objects, opening a door or jar, and shaking someone’s hand. It is a common elbow injury with sports including baseball, field & track throwing sports, and even tennis. It can also be acute pain due to doing a lot of home improvements or using power tools.
With true golfers elbow, the issue is with the tendon. Tendinitis refers to acute overload causing damage and inflammation, or chronic degeneration that is referred to as tendinosis. These tendon changes are likely occurring because the tendon is worked and unable to fully repair/remodel before being worked again. This creates this vicious cycle of breakdown with inadequate full recovery.
WHAT TO CHECK: There is a chance you have golfers elbow if you have pain to palpation over the medial epicondyle, pain with gripping, and pain with resisted wrist flexion, resisted pronation, painful stretching.
WHAT TO AVOID: People with golfers elbow may benefit from not doing repetitive wrist flexion with loads, repetitive forearm twisting, and gripping with heavy loads.
WHAT TO EXPECT: Most cases fully resolve within a year - depends on what is involved and how involved (what is the state of the tendon). Research supports education and exercise being helpful, however there is no true consensus on exercise programming in the literature - thus we use a comprehensive approach with our program to give the best possible results!