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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Some aspects of “Golfer’s elbow” with homoepathic mode of treatment

Also referred to as medial tennis elbow, Golfer’s elbow is a tendinopathy of the insertion of the flexors of the fingers of the hand & the pronators.
Epitrochleitis or Golfer’s elbow is very similar to lateral epicondylitis or tennis elbow but occurs on the medial side of the elbow, where the pronator teres & the flexors of the wrist & fingers originate. Tensing of these muscles by resisted wrist & finger flexion in pronation will provoke the pain.

Sex- Golfer elbow is most common in men.

Age- 20 – 50 years of age but the condition can affect anyone who repetitively stresses the wrist or the fingers.

Risk factors-
(1) Repeated or forceful movements of the fingers, wrist & forearm which causes repetitive strain on forearm flexors.
(2) Acute trauma may also play a role.

Pathophysiology- The flexor muscles of hand, wrist & forearm on excessive strain or over-use, may become irritated, inflamed & swollen. This causes pain & tenderness at the medial epicondyle of humerus. If not arrested at this point & allowed to progress, the tendon develops small tears in it at its attachment to the humerus.

Clinical Features-
(1) The most common symptom is pain & tenderness on inner side of elbow. The pain may occasionally extend along inner side of forearm. Onset of pain is usually gradual & aggravated by using the affected muscles while grasping objects or shaking hands. Tenderness is often less well localized than in tennis elbow.
(2) There may be a feeling of stiffness of elbow.
(3) Weakness of hands & wrists may also be there.
(4) Numbness or tingling sensation radiating into usaully ring & little fingers may be present.
(5) There will be pain on resisted forearm pronation with elbow extended or pain on resisted wrist flexion & these are the tests for clinical diagnosis.

Investigations- Golfer’s elbow is usually diagnosed clinically. X-ray of elbow is often done to rule out arthritis. MRI may be advocated if clinical diagnosis is difficult to be confirmed.

Differential Diagnosis- Golfer’s elbow is usually to be differentiated from Olecranon bursitis, Elbow arthritis, Carpal tunnel syndrome.

Treatment- It is the same as for tennis elbow but the treatment is even less satisfactory.
[A]
General measures to be taken are-
(1) Rest.
(2) Restriction or total stoppage of activities causing pain.
(3) Elbow braces.
(4) Stretching exercises for flexor muscles which should be started after the disappearance of the symptoms of Golfer elbow. If there is any pain during or after the exercises, it should be stopped immediately.
(5) Physiotherapy.

[B] Homeopathic medicines to be used – Homeopathy may be used effectively in the treatment of Golfer elbow. If it is supposed to be due to overuse, Bryonia should be tried. Ruta Graveolens (Ruta) & Rhus toxicodendron (Rhus tox) are the medicines most commonly used. The potency & frequency of dosage as well as duration of treatment varies with the severity of the condition & the individual. Besides these, if it is supposed to be due to any previous injury, Arnica can be very effectively used. On the other hand, if it is supposed to be due to overuse, Bryonia may be tried.

Prevention-
(1) Modification of activities or particular techniques that lead to the development of this overuse injury.
(2) Guidance of a coach for sporting activities may often be helpful.

Prognosis- Golfer elbow is usually a self-limited problem which is quite unlikely to cause any long-term health hazard. With athletes a change in technique often resolves the problem. Life style modification is to be considered if Golfer elbow does not resolve or if it recurs.

In short,
Golfer’s elbow is manifested by pain & tenderness on the medial side of the elbow & is to be treated by Rhus tox, Ruta, Arnica etc.

But in every case, a doctor should be consulted.


3 comments:

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Fasil mohammed said...

Hai. Good blog on homeopathy. Have a look at this too http://olivehomeopathy.blogspot.in
Thank youi.

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