I have Medial Epicondylitis aka Golfer’s Elbow

I’ve posted before about my sore elbow and on going back to the physiotherapist last week, she confirmed that it’s now exhibiting symptoms of Medial Epicondylitis otherwise know as Golfer’s Elbow. It seems that this is different from Tennis Elbow say, in which part of the elbow hurts.

Medial epicondylitis golfers elbowWith golfers elbow, it’s where the tendons of the forearm meet your boney bit of elbow on the inside of your arm. Very close to what you’d consider your “funny bone”. The area of pain starts from the Medial Epicondyle and extends towards the forearm muscles and the effects the tendons between the 2. Tendonitis effectively.

The significance of this is that pain occurs when these tendons are being used, which is just about everything involved in carrying a load and often simple matters like simply picking something up or anything that uses these forearm muscles. Either way, I’m completely unable to train with anything that involves my right arm at the moment, which means just about everything excpet running, situps and air squats.

So I’m back to the physio again today to get another dose of ultra sound and electricity in the form of the evocatively named Interferon Machine! I’m also doing some stretching exercises I was give by the physio and I’m using a topically applied anti inflammatory cream. At the moment I’m seeing no improvement, but will give it a few weeks.

Then all bets are off and I might even consider acupuncture, which is something I’ve always been extrememly dubious of before. There’s something about sticking neddles in your body and wiggilng them around that just doesn’t seem quite right. However I’ve spoken to people who claim it’s worked wonders for them.

Add to that that this has been an issue for me for many months already, and talking to Jo M at the gym, who had this recently too, she says it was 18 months before she was back to normal! That’s a long time and I don’t fancy that at all I can tell you.

EDIT March: Several years have passed since I wrote this post. Please read my
Golfer’s Elbow Treatments post for how I cured my Medial Epicondylitis.

{ 11 comments… add one }

  • Mike 10 August 2010, 5:48 pm

    Very long time problem for me. Got it from lifting/climbing and jujitsu. 18 months in my left elbow, about 12 months in my right. Astym, acupuncture, cortisone injections that helped for a few months, quit climbing, quit jujitsu etc, the whole shebang. I’m contemplating surgery at this point. Nothing seem to fix it. I have some ulnar nerve compression to boot. Good times.

  • C 24 August 2010, 5:32 pm

    Thanks so much for this insightful and helpful information. I just found out this morning that golfer’s elbow exists and the diagrams and data helped me determine this is exactly what I have been suffering from. The pain in my right arm is most excruciating and most unbearable for me at night, especially if I move my arm a certain way. When I wake up, the first thing I feel is this intense pain. Just now ordered an elbow brace and something called penetrex to see if they will offer some relief.

  • Lou Albano 19 October 2010, 1:58 pm

    I had this. I had it so bad they had to do surgery. I have a massive zipper on my right arm and it took a long time to heal. Try to avoid this if at all possible.

    I used the Bandit, got PT and did cortisone. Nothing helped. Now it is on my left side starting about a week ago. No fun. I am also working in Kuwait so the concept of PT out here is a dubious thought. They also don’t have all the types of drugs we have. So far I have been doing the RICE treatment on it, and also doing the PT stuff I remember from last time.

    I assume you went to the doctor and got some good NSAID drugs like relafen or something tough like that. There’s also steroidal stuff you can take that can help. I took some of this but I forget the name.

  • 9 months of this, still looking for a solution 16 November 2010, 12:15 am

    Got medial epicondylitis from wrestling, weightlifting, and long distance bicycling (just flexing the wrist enough to hold up the body on a bike is actually really bad for this). Been taking naproxen, icing, and stretching for a few months, nothing seems to help. Kinda sucks losing the ability to do the things that took up at least 2 hours of my day every day, and losing everything that was gained from years of training by being sedentary for a few months. No health insurance so medical treatment is out of reach at the moment, hoping medicaid (NY) will cover a few doctor visits! Has anybody recovered from this enough to do a decent amount of upper-body weightlifting again?

  • Colin McNulty 17 November 2010, 5:42 am

    Yes, me. It does get better eventually, I have no problem with heavy weightlifting anymore. That’s not to say I don’t have “episodes” still.

    There have been several times when my golfer’s elbow has returned, at least in part. In fact, I’m trying a stretching program at the moment that appears to be working very well as a golfers elbow treatment. Once I know for sure, I’ll post it up here, maybe next month.

  • richard desrochers 19 November 2010, 9:24 pm

    I thought it was only me who had this. Yes, sleeping is the bad nuts; wake every hour I move or turn around. This happened 9 days, trauma,blood, tearing. I will start PT after Turkey. Slowly!! The swelling has decreased but the pain is there all the time. I hope this is a 12 – 18 months deal. Great to hear from everyone about your results. Thanks.

  • Chris Girard 29 November 2010, 2:17 pm

    Had surgery last Wed, the day before Thanksgiving for Golfers Elbow. Years of heavy powerlifting, plus my job as a tree climber, did the damage.

    Will start PT in a month.

  • Ian McLeish 10 February 2011, 8:53 pm

    Well, I had platelet rich plasma therapy done today on both of my elbows. Will update on how it goes….

  • Bob 19 March 2011, 12:28 pm

    Just discoveres this morn. that I have Med. Epic… Have had it for approx. 2 months now.still not sure how to treat though other than avoid clinching my fist and pulling inward. Being deliberate not to make certain motions that involve flexing that inside forearm muscle group. The Ice/heat thing also has me confused. I do know that immediately after an injury of any type that Ice first then heat rest elevation compression etc. etc… but since this is been going on for 2 mon. Is heat the best now, of course allong w/ rest and wearing a forearm brace..Really confused about which course of action to take…Help :-/

  • Colin McNulty 20 March 2011, 7:14 am

  • Phillip 23 March 2011, 5:04 am

    I Unfortunately have had Medial Epicondylitis since 2007, Due to Break Dancing and Gymnastics mainly from the move that is known as a flare, and have no idea how to treat it. I have used Voltaren Gel (diclofenac sodium topical gel) which temporarily helped during the day but pretty much every night I have a zinger in my arm. I have also tried Cortisone shots and that seemed great for about two months but the same intense shot hit my arm at night time or any twisting outward motions. I think my next step is going to be the magnetic brace or surgery which I’m trying to avoid at all cost. Cause every time I did the stretches it seemed to make it worse or cause immediate pain. The best thing that helped me was learning to not use that arm as much and it slightly helped me with a good diet to heal some(SOME)!!! and now I just want to have it at least at 80% if not 100% by mid this year. Any advice my fellow MED EPICs…

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