For those athletes at higher risk, who perform wrist/forearm movements regularly, maintaining muscle strength, using the right technique and decreasing the intensity of play can oftentimes prevent severe symptoms of. Strengthening the forearm muscles with squeezing a tennis ball, wrist curls, and reverse wrist curls can be effective in preventing this injury.
The elbow joint is made up of three bones: humerus (upper arm bone), radius (forearm bone on thumb side), and ulna (forearm bone on pinky finger side). The bony bumps at the bottom of the upper arm bone, near the elbow, are called epicondyles. Specifically, the bump on the inside of the bone is called the medial epicondyle, while the bump on the outside of the bone is called the lateral epicondyle. Ligaments, muscles, and tendons hold the elbow joint together. Medial epicondylitis involves inflammation of forearm tendons, specifically the tendons that help flex your wrist.
Symptoms of Medial Epicondylitis
Pain and tenderness associated with medial epicondylitis will occur on the inside of the elbow and will intensify with wrist and forearm motion, griping, and cocking. The medial epicondyle (bump on the inside of the upper arm bone) may also be tender to touch with or without visible swelling. Additionally, the pain may radiate up and down the arm. Numbness or tingling will often occur making the elbow area weak and stiff.
Diagnosis of Lateral Epicondylitis
Dr. Millett will perform a comprehensive history and physical exam of the elbow. He will consider how your symptoms developed, prior injuries, risk factors, and involvement in recreational sports. He will also use many elbow tests to assess range of motion and strength. Imaging such as X-ray, MRI, or EMG (to rule out nerve compression) may also be used.