Commonly referred to as golfer’s elbow or bowler’s elbow, medial epicondylitis is a condition where the tendons that allow flexion of the wrist become inflamed. Far less common then lateral epicondylitis, it can occur as a result of repetitive wrist flexion such as during a golf swing, baseball pitching, swimming, bowling, or weight lifting. Patients with this condition complain of pain along the inside of the elbow and radiating into forearm.
Initial treatment of medial epicondylitis includes NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, such as ibuprofen, Advil, Aleve, etc.), activity modifications, and physical therapy to work on stretching and forearm strengthening exercises. Sometimes patients are given an elbow strap to wear just below the elbow on the forearm to alleviate some of the force being exerted on the elbow. Applying heat and ice can also help alleviate pain. If pain persists despite the above treatments, sometimes a cortisone injection is needed to resolve the pain and inflammation.
If symptoms persist further, an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) may be considered to evaluate the tendons for injury. Occasionally, surgical intervention may be necessary to repair the torn tendon if a patient does not have symptomatic relief with all of the above treatments.