The warm weather is upon us so lets talk Golfer's Elbow aka. Medial Epicondylitis. Although less common than Tennis Elbow, Golfer's Elbow presents as pain at the inside of the elbow due to overuse/ improper use of the flexors of the forearm. Hence the name, we see this commonly in golfers but also in other grip intensive activities such as rock climbing, mixed martial arts, pitching in baseball, swinging a hammer and even gardening. The tendons of the flexor muscles of the forearm (Flexor Carpi Radials, Flexor Carpi Ulnaris, Pronator Teres and Flexor Digitorum Superficialis) insert into a common attachment point at the medial epicondyle.
In the acute phase these tendons become inflamed and sometimes appear warm and swollen, however over time the inflammation goes away and a chronic, fibrotic state occurs (scar tissue). Again, this is my 'sparkle on drywall' example! The body attempts to repair the damage by laying down layers of collagen in a disorganized, sporadic manner.
How do we fix this? First, correction of improper biomechanics of the wrist, forearm and elbow should be addressed. If it's in a chronic phase, let's 'sand it down'. There are numerous soft tissue techniques that can aid in breaking up the disorganized collagen fibers and allow them the reorganize in a smooth, continuous fashion. Certain taping techniques and 'counter braces' are available while returning to play/ work to take the stress off the tendinous attachments at the medial epicondyle.