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Why do you get golf elbow (medial epicondylgia)?


Golferial elbow (medial epicondylalgia) is an overload injury on the inside of the elbow. It arises either gradually from one-sided, low-intensity loading of a tendon attachment on the inside of the elbow, for example if you carry a lot in your hand such as grocery bags, computer bags or golf games. Can also occur after heavier work such as carpentry, moving work, strength training. Previously, this diagnosis was called medial epicondylitis, which indicates inflammation. This is misleading, as you can not normally see any inflammation in the painful area. The name has therefore been changed to epicondylalgia, which instead suggests pain in the area. Less than 5% of the population is affected and it is most common to get this at the age of 45-54 years. 


Symptoms of lateral epicondylalgia


Pain outside elbow under load. Usually you do not have rest pain. The pain can pull down on the forearm and back of the hand. You can be sore at night or in the morning if you have had trouble lying down with your arm / hand and sat on the tendon for a long time. On the bone committee on the outside of the elbow there is a well-defined pressure tenderness. Not infrequently, the muscles in the forearm are also sore. Sometimes forearm / hand is perceived as weak.

Treatment for golf elbow


First and foremost, rest or minimize the activity that caused the golf elbow (medial epicondylalgia), if one can now arrive at what it was.

The most important goal in the treatment of golf elbow is to increase the load tolerance in the painful tendon attachment on the inside of the elbow. This is most conveniently done by eccentric training of the muscles on the inside of the forearm. That is, the load occurs in the phase when the muscle works in extension, slows the movement. As long as the problems do not worsen in general, it is ok that it hurts a little during the training. The training is initially performed once a day and as the load increases, the training sessions are sparse until they are performed every other day. Instruction and optimization of load is done together with your physiotherapist.

This training is usually combined with  shock wave therapy . This is in order to speed up the healing in the area. We can perform this treatment at Alta Vita Physiotherapy. It hurts a little just when you get this type of treatment, but we always adapt the treatment to what the patient thinks is manageable.

If the treatment does not lead to improvement, or if the intensity of the pain is intense, then this can be investigated further with us with the help of  ultrasound diagnostics. Then we can see to what extent the tendon attachment in the elbow is affected, what it otherwise looks like in the area and in this way hopefully be able to clarify why the treatment does not progress. 


Prognosis in medial epicondylgia


In many cases, this problem heals even without treatment and exercise. But if you do not perform the training we recommend, there is a great risk that the problems will return when you load this area again. For a few patients who, despite well-performed rehab, do not get well, surgery may be necessary.  

Physiotherapy at Alta Vita Physiotherapy

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