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Dr. Mark J. Kirk &
Dr. James McNally
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Medial Epicondylitis

 

 


Medial epicondylitis commonly affects golfers, baseball pitchers and almost anyone who overuses his or her wrist or elbow during work or sports. In the case of baseball, think of a pitcher winding up, throwing his arm back and releasing the ball as he brings his arm round and snaps his wrist downwards. This motion is wrist flexion. If the pitcher wants the ball to curve to the side he's throwing from (what pitchers call a screw ball), he'll have to snap his wrist inward as well, as if he were unscrewing a light bulb. This motion is wrist pronation. Movements combining flexion and pronation are the major cause of medial epicondylitis.

Patients with the condition feel pain in the elbow, on the inside where there's a bony bump. They also commonly have an ache or pain around the inside of their elbow joint and possibly in the surrounding muscles. When they lift their wrist with the palm up, as if they were picking up a table, the pain worsens, and movements that involve flexion or pronation can be unbearable.

Any activity that involves repetitive flexion and pronation, like hammering, golfing and playing tennis, can lead to medial epicondylitis. During these activities, excessive force on the wrist flexors, which are muscles that connect the wrist to the elbow, can strain the inner part of the elbow joint. The body reacts to this strain with painful inflammation.

If left untreated, the condition can become chronic, so it's important to see your chiropractor if you're experiencing symptoms of medial epicondylitis. He or she will use a variety of management techiniques and probably prescribe braces and exercises to support and strengthen the elbow joint.