If an individual is suspected with a pitcher’s elbow or medial epicondylitis, the pain shoots down to the wrist on the interior side which is known as the medial side. This is caused by damage to the tendons that are responsible for moving the wrist into the palm.
Take note that this damage to the tendon can be caused by activities that require excessive force in bending the wrist toward the palm, such as when pitching in baseball, carrying a heavy bag or suitcase or swinging a golf club.
Steps when treating pitcher’s elbow
- Instruct the individual to stop the activity that caused the damage to the tendon. This is important so that further damage to the elbow can be prevented.
- You have to apply an ice pack or cold compress over the affected area in order to minimize the inflammation. If you want to learn how to properly apply an ice pack or cold compress, click here.
- Provide over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications if required.
- If a wristband or elbow brace is available, you can apply it in order to relieve the strain off the muscle below the elbow.
- Look for a professional who can perform cross-friction massage. This will help prevent adhesions from developing. The stripping massage will also help since it will release the tight muscles as well as minimizing the strain at the elbow.
- The individual must engage in basic strengthening exercise as long as it is tolerated such as static triceps and static biceps. Take note that these exercises start with the elbow at 90 degrees. When performing the static bicep, the individual must hold the hand facing upward while the other hand on top and push against the top hand by tightening the biceps. As for the static triceps, the hand must face inward in a fist as though giving thumbs up but without putting the thumb up. The other hand is placed beneath the fist and push against it for 5 seconds. Perform 10 sets for both exercises and the individual must push as hard as possible without feeling any pain.
- In case first aid measures and physical therapy fails to work, the doctor can recommend corticosteroid injections. This must be done under the direction of a doctor.
- The last resort is undergoing surgery. On the other hand, it does not always guarantee a successful outcome.
Important considerations to bear in mind
If steroid injections are prescribed by your doctor, there should only be two to three steroid injections every year. Take note that more than this will lead to the weakening of the tendon.
The individual can engage in strengthening exercises as directed by a doctor. You have to consult with your doctor first before using anti-inflammatory medications, especially if other medications are currently used or have other underlying conditions.