Medical Epicondylitis: A Case Study
The human body is frequently overwhelmed with a great deal of physical stress. This is due in great part to our physically demanding lifestyles that require us to participate in activities that place a lot of stress upon the body, such as athletic competition or exacting work-related tasks. The large amount of stress that is placed upon the human body has led to a discouraging trend of increasing numbers of overuse injuries. Unfortunately, as we approach the 21st century, we can only expect this trend to continue. One particular overuse injury that plagues golfers, athletes who engage in a lot of throwing activities, and workers who use their arms in repetitive tasks, such as the frequent use of a hammer or screwdriver, is medial epicondylitis. Medial epicondylitis is an overuse injury of the elbow that typically afflicts individuals between the ages of 35 and 60, although many young athletes who constantly place stress upon their arms during a throwing motion are affected as well (Hannafin 1996). This chronic condition affects the medial side of the elbow at the medial epicondyle, the bony prominence on the elbow where the common flexor tendon that gives rise to many of the forearm flexor muscles originates. Patients commonly report pain near the medial epicondyle, and their pain typically increases with particular forearm movements. In order to gain a better understanding of the nature of this condition, however, an understanding of the anatomy of the elbow joint is necessary.