The elbow joint is like the "knee" of the upper limb. Sitting in-between the shoulder and wrist, it is entirely reliant on the efficiency of these joints. The most common elbow injury terms people are familiar with are "tennis elbow" and golfer's elbow". We see these conditions a lot here at the clinic and they respond extremely well with the appropriate treatment intervention. Other injuries we see include: elbow dislocations, fractures and ligament sprains.
Pain on the inside of the elbow is often classified as "Golfers elbow". A true Golfer's elbow is a tendon injury that has occurred due to repeated trauma. Repeated movements can cause damage to the tendons that attach to the inside of the elbow joint. If it continues, then eventually the tendon breaks down and can then be classified as a "tendinopathy". The condition involves the same pathology as tennis elbow, however, tennis elbow is the term given to tendon that attaches to the outside of the elbow.
You don’t have to play golf to experience a Golfer's elbow injury. In fact it is more likely to happen in people who do repetitive movements such as computer typing, mouse work or repeated tasks such as painting and decorating.
Treatment will focus on helping heal the damaged tissues. This may be through the use of joint mobilisations, soft tissue massage, electrotherapeutic modalities and strengthening. Taping can also be of benefit as well.
Now, the reason why the injury may have occurred in the first place may simply be due to an excessive increase in golf participation without appropriate rest in between sessions. However, a person who has played golf for years, and is quite used to the stresses placed upon the tendon, may have developed the problem due to a restriction in movement at the hand or shoulder joint. This is in turn maybe asking too much of the tendons every time they hit the ball.
In some cases, there maybe nothing wrong with the elbow joint at all, and the symptoms may be a "referred" pain from a trapped nerve within the neck.
As always, in order to fully resolve a problem you need to fully understand it. A thorough assessment will reveal why the problem is happening, allowing treatment to focus on where the problem is.