Elbow Injuries: Putting the Sport Back Into Your Life

By Dr. Molly Casey

Man with Tennis Elbow Pain

Persistent elbow pain is common in patients who are active in sports and fitness, as well as those who have repetitive motions or hold prolonged positions throughout their day. It is a symptom that’s appropriate to discuss with your chiropractor. The idea of nagging elbow pain may not seem too debilitating … until it happens to you. When it starts preventing you from participating in activities you enjoy, or doesn’t allow you to fulfill your work requirements, you will likely take deeper notice. Let your chiropractor help you.

Epicondylitis

Epicondylitis is the medical term for inflammation of the tendons that attach to the elbow joint. Tendons are the tissue that attach muscle to bone. In the elbow, there are tendons on both the lateral (same as your thumb) and medial (same as your pinky finger) sides of the joint. The more common names you may recognize for this condition are tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow. Tennis elbow refers to the inflammation of the lateral tendons of the elbow joint and golfer’s elbow refers to the inflammation of the medial tendons of the elbow joint.

Symptoms and Causes

Tennis elbow symptoms commonly radiate from the outside of the elbow to the forearm and wrist. Some experience it as a constant ache in the elbow area, while others may only feel it while performing activities that involve reaching, grasping or lifting. Symptoms of golfer’s elbow may be experienced as pain on the inside of the elbow while lifting the wrist or hand, pain while twisting the forearm, or while making a fist. The inside of the elbow may be swollen or tender to the touch. If it progresses, stiffness in the elbow and weakness in the wrists and hands can occur.

Causes of the inflammation can be attributed to overuse of forearm muscles in which the elbow is extended and the palm is facing down: Think golf, racquet sports such as tennis, baseball or softball, gardening, carpentry or similar activities.

Healing with Chiropractic

Chiropractors adjust the spinal joints and manipulate the joints of extremities, such as arms, legs, hands, and wrists. When joints are not moving properly, it can mean there is excess force and tension on the associated tendons and ligaments. This can be the cause of, or exacerbate, the symptoms of the inflammation. Therefore, having a chiropractor manipulate the elbow joint when epicondylitis is present is a wise idea. Restoration of joint motion may be the impetus to complete healing; at the very least, it will assist in the process. In addition, your chiropractor can recommend natural supplements as an adjunctive therapy to decrease the inflammation process.

There is no need to live with persistent, nagging elbow pain. Come see us at The Joint; let us help you get into your peak position!

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