What is golfer's elbow?
Golfer's elbow, or medial epicondylitis, is a musculoskeletal condition that causes tendonitis affecting the medial common flexor tendon that connects muscles in the elbow to the wrist (See Fig. 1).
Despite what the name suggests, 90% of patients with golfer's elbow are not sports professionals or serious athletes.
Tendons are a type of connective tissue made up primarily of strong collagenous fibers. However, they are not designed to stretch and extend. This makes the tendons in the elbow vulnerable to injury.
Elbow tendinopathy represents an important set of pathologies that account for lost recreation time, decreased quality of life, and work-related disability claims. Indeed, almost 1 in every 100 people in the United States complains of golfer's elbow.
Figure 1. Golfer's elbow involves inflammation of the common flexor tendon near the medial part of the elbow. Micro-tears occur due to repetitive stress on the tendons resulting in pain in the medial elbow radiating toward the hand.
Causes, Signs And Symptoms
Tendon pain usually starts as tenderness in the dominant arm due to repeated overloading of forearm muscles.Most patients who develop golfer's elbow experience some or all of these symptoms:
- Stiffness in the forearm causing difficulty in making a fist
- A tender spot on the outside of the elbow
- Pain radiating from your elbow to your forearm and wrist
- Reduction in grip strength
- Tingling and numbness in the affected hand
Tiny tears in the medial common flexor tendon that connects your elbow and wrist muscles cause the golfer's elbow.Specific causes and risk factors for golfer's elbow include:
- Repeated movements, like arm bending, swinging, flexing, gripping, and twisting of the wrist can cause pain in the lateral elbow.
- Incorrect use of a sports racquet or poor throwing technique while playing rugby, basketball, or baseball
- Occupational hazards for plumbers, carpenters, butchers, painters, computer-mouse users, and builders
- Injuries during weight training due to lack of warmup and conditioning
- It can affect anyone in the 45-64 age bracket, but women are at higher risk than men.
Our Specialists diagnose golfer's elbow using a multipronged approach.
- Medical History: Our doctors will ask you about the nature of your elbow, wrist, and finger pain. They will ask about prior surgeries, accidents, and trauma to the arm.
- Physical Exam: The doctor may ask you to move your arm in various ways and against resistance to locate the source of pain to make an affirmative diagnosis.
- Imaging with X-Rays or MRI: X-rays may be used to rule out other causes of your arm/elbow pain. Rarely, a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan is needed to confirm the diagnosis.
The StemX clinic offers a range of customized Regenerative Medicine solutions for golfer's elbow pain.
The StemX Approach
StemX is California's leading provider of holistic and regenerative medicine services. Our experts don't just offer popular treatments, but customized medical solutions based on individual needs.
Located in Solana Beach, California, the StemX clinic is composed of a team of expert doctors with years of experience administering regenerative medicine treatments for joint disease. Our team has:
How To Get Started
While each treatment may be customized, you can expect your experience to be similar to the following:
All procedures are conducted in our Solana Beach, California clinic. 124 Lomas Santa Fe Dr #206, Solana Beach, CA 92075.
Frequently Asked Questions
Medial epicondylitis treatment can consist of the use of braces for golfer's elbow, physical therapy, or regenerative medicine as an alternative to steroids/surgery.
Pain and inflammation due to golfer's elbow in mild to moderate cases may last from a few weeks to six months. Prolonged discomfort may make surgery unavoidable.
If left untreated golfer's elbow may cause chronic pain and permanently reduce the strength, movement, and daily functionality of your affected hand. It is important to seek early medical help.
Pain on the inside of the elbow may subside naturally with adequate rest in some cases. However, that depends on the chronicity of the condition.
The discomfort associated with the golfer's elbow may cause medial elbow pain, and it may hurt to touch the inner side of the elbow. However, the pain in inner elbow may radiate to the forearm and wrist in chronic cases.
Golfer's elbow treatment may require surgery if you have a severe case of golfer's elbow. However, early medical intervention can help avoid the need for surgery.
Golfer's elbow pain is can be significant due to tears in the medial common flexor tendon.
Golfer's elbow may take a few days to months to heal, depending on the severity of the condition, and only a qualified medical expert can assess that.
Golfer's elbow may affect your daily function and cause severe pain. Hence it is crucial to seek medical help for accurate diagnosis and treatment.
Pain gradually develops over time. Swelling is usually present early stages but usually subsides as degeneration of the tendon increases. Tendon thickening occurs at later stages.
No, tennis elbow involves inflammation on the outer (lateral) end of the elbow where golfer's elbow refers to inflammation on the inner (medial) side of the elbow.
Regenerative medicine treatments are long-lasting. Together with golfer's elbow physical therapy and rest, further damage can be avoided.
Regenerative Medicine injections cause minimal discomfort. The injection site may be sore for several days during which time strenuous activity is discouraged.
The cost of regenerative medicine treatments vary according to the type of treatment and number of treatments needed which depends on the severity of the injury.