Medial epicondylitis or "golfer's elbow" is an injury to the attachment sites of the flexor group of muscles of the forearm, leading to tendinopathy. Degeneration of the flexor-pronator tendons occurs as a result of repetitive movements aimed at forced pronation/supination and flexion at the wrist. When activities overwhelm the tissue's capacity for repair, a degenerative process occurs. The area of the inner epicondyle of the humerus is most often severely affected, and the symptoms can reach the fingers of the hand.
Medial epicondylitis has a lower frequency than lateral epicondylitis. As a result of the chronic degenerative process, calcification of the tendon can occur. The final phase of stretching or throwing sharply with the affected side usually provokes the symptoms. Although athletes with such a problem can be severely affected, most cases are not from professional sports. Occupations with repetitive movements or forceful activities of the upper limbs predispose to the occurrence of medial epicondylitis. Such occupations can be carpentry, cutting meat, vigorous physical activities. The injury can also be provoked by a sudden forceful contraction of the relevant muscles. Smokers and patients with type 2 diabetes have been linked to golfer's elbow predisposition.
The most common complaint from patients is pain in the inner part of the elbow joint, in the medial epicondyle, and this pain can spread upwards or downwards, reaching the wrist or the fingers on the ulnar side of the forearm.
The tendon of the flexor group of the forearm is highly sensitive, both during active movements, provoking the corresponding muscles, and during passive pressure.
Stiffness may also be present, as well as numbness that may spread to the fingers (primarily the little and ring fingers). There is also weakness when squeezing, and the pain can vary from sharp to dull, constant.
After the acute period, physical therapy plays a key role in combating pain and reduced functionality. A complete individual program is drawn up both for visits and at home.