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Golfer's Elbow (Medial Epicondylitis)

Golfer’s Elbow is a condition that causes pain and irritation on the inside of the elbow.

What are the symptoms of Golfer’s Elbow?

The primary symptom is pain on the inside of the elbow. This pain can extend into the forearm, hands and wrists. This can often be accompanied by a reduced range of movement, stiffness, and tingling in the arms, wrist and hands, particularly in the little finger.

What causes Golfer’s Elbow?

The elbow joint is surrounded by muscles that move your elbow, wrists and fingers. These muscles are connected to the surrounding bones by tendons.

Golfer’s Elbow is caused by damage to the tendons in the forearm that connect to the bony part on the inside of the elbow. This part is called the medical epicondyle, hence the clinical name – Medial Epicondylitis. It is often caused by repetitive movements, or excessive load. Although it is know as Golfer’s Elbow, this injury is not only limited to playing golf; it can occur from any physical activity that uses the arms, hands, and wrists, particularly with excessive bending of the wrists. This can be golf, rowing, weightlifting, baseball or occupational to name a few.

Pulsed Radiofrequency (PRF) for the treatment of Golfer’s Elbow

What is pulsed radiofrequency (PRF)?

It is a treatment that uses radio waves to control pain.  A rapidly-changing electrical current is applied using a needle to a specific nerve which is causing problems.  This causes changes to the nerve which can provide pain relief by preventing pain signals from reaching the spinal cord.  Other signals from this nerve are not blocked.

What are the benefits?

PRF treatment can give long lasting pain relief for between three to 18 months but everyone experiences the effects in different ways. 

What are the risks?

Overall PRF injections are very safe and serious side-effects or complications are rare.  However, like all injection procedures there are some risks.

Common risks

  • Bruise or tenderness at the site of injection.
  • An increase in your pain – this should only last a few days.

Rare risks

  • No improvement in pain.
  • Prolonged increase in pain after the procedure.
  • Bleeding.
  • Infection.
  • Injury to nerves – either temporary or permanent.
  • Anaphylaxis – severe allergic reaction to drugs.

What are the alternatives?

You do not have to have PRF and there are alternative treatments which we are happy to discuss with you. These include:

Osteopathy/physiotherapy and exercises prescriptions

      • Osteopathy/physiotherapy and exercises prescriptions
      • Taking painkillers, such as paracetamol, may help reduce mild pain caused by tennis elbow. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, can also be used to help reduce inflammation.
      • Surgery may be used as a last resort to remove the damaged part of the tendon.
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