Elbow Pain Treatment
What's the go with Tennis and Golfer's Elbow?
There are a number of common sources of elbow pain. The elbow is commonly injured in some contact sports like Rugby, cycling and grappling sports. You can have ligament tears or fracture/dislocations which require rehabilitation or sometimes surgical intervention.
Overuse injuries are also common in the elbow. Here the most common injuries by far are the misleadingly named golfer’s elbow and tennis elbow. The clinical name for these conditions is medial and lateral epicondylalgia respectively. These conditions occur when you overuse the forearm causing the insertion points for the muscles of the forearm (the ones that go all the way down to your fingers) to become irritated and inflamed.
There are also some less common overuse injuries like bursitis and nerve entrapments that affect the elbow.
Classically the main symptom is pain. This is felt either over the outside (lateral) or the inside (medial) epicondyle, which is the bony bump on the inside and outside of your elbow. It will be exquisitely painful to the touch. Mostly this pain is brought on by activities that use these muscles – especially grip related activities, but can also be typing related actions for lateral epicondylalgia. Any repetitive sports activities that cause repeated gripping and releasing will cause this condition – tennis, golf and rock climbing being a notable few. Sometime there will be a notable stiffness symptom, especially in the morning. If the problem is prolonged, it can lead to weakness in grip strength.
Outside of trauma, the causes of elbow pain are mostly fairly benign: overuse without enough rest and repair time. Big jumps in activity over a small amount of time can cause it, like the office worker who paints an entire house over a weekend off.
In the elbow overuse injuries there are slight increases in risk if you are female because of the different shape of your elbow joint. Occupations with repetitive activities of the forearm are risks – such as hammering and drilling in the trades and typing for office workers. Any kind of significant elbow trauma can lead to the risk of developing overuse injuries over time.
Elbow Pain and Osteopathy
An Osteopath will conduct a thorough case history and examination before arriving at a diagnosis. They can provide highly trained hands-on care for symptom relief and a graded exercise program to restore the function and strength in the forearm muscles or the injured tissue.