First some anatomy, the elbow is a hinge joint that serves as a link between the bones of the upper arm and forearm. It’s considered a complex joint with a large number of muscles crossing it. The movements it performs for you are pushing, pulling and rotating your forearm.
If you are into sports, hobbies or a job which requires repetitive hand, wrist or arm movements the complexity and action tends to overuse these muscles. You also may feel pressured despite the pain and fatigue to complete tasks.
The following are some facts I gathered to help you recognize if you’re injured and how to relieve your pain to get back to doing the things you need and love to do. I also included a home-made video demonstrating some helpful self-help tips once adhesed tissues have been released by your therapeutic massage therapist. Recommended stretches from Release your pain by Dr. Brian Abelson, DC , a stretch with wall support and biceps/pectoral stretch.
Elbow pain usually isn’t serious, but because you use your elbow in so many ways, elbow pain can definitely affect your life. The common injuries are Golfer’s Elbow, Tennis Elbow, Bursitis, Ulnar Nerve Entrapment, Radial Nerve Entrapment, or Tendonitis?
A special note: According to the National Institute of Health, youth sports is also associated with an increased risk of elbow injuries. Risk factors for injury in children and adolescents include the presence of growth cartilage and existence of muscular imbalances. However, with proper education, supervision, and training it can possibly help reduce the risk.
When to recognize you have an injury, if you experience a burning sensation, tenderness, or pain inside or outside of your elbow. This pain spreads from your elbow to your wrist and it gets worse when you extend or flex your wrist. The twisting action of your forearm is also effected and increases the elbow pain while decreasing your ability to extend or flex your elbow.
Like the wrist and Carpal Tunnel these injuries can cause or lead to muscular imbalances of the elbow. On occasion, problems in your neck, shoulder and upper arm, or your forearm and wrist can result in elbow pain. Think of it like a teeter totter that isn’t balanced because one end is shorter than the other. It will still work, but not optimally.
In most cases of elbow pain, muscles become shortened due to injury, trauma, or from repetitive strains which cause micro-tears. Usually, more than one muscle is involved, shortened muscles and tightened joints all combine to impair coordination and reduce power, resulting in further injuries. The cycle repeats itself unless these restrictions are released.
Then it’s time to schedule a Doctor’s appointment, it’s an emergency if an obvious deformity in your elbow or the bone is protruding.
Traditional treatments involve anti-inflammatory, braces, cortisone shots, Physiotherapy, Ultrasound and Therapeutic Massage.
Therapeutic Massage is very effective in treating the symptoms of the majority of these injuries and treatment helps speed up the body own natural ability to heal. It addresses and treats the affected muscles and the fibrous adhesions between them. The scar tissue which forms at the injury site is less elastic and more fibrotic, than normal tissue, causing muscles to gradually lose their ability to stretch. That’s where massage comes in, the shortened muscles are treated, lengthen to gradually help them return to normal tone. Haven’t found a professional massage therapist yet, read how to find a massage therapist near you.
Anyone can be effected but these injuries are more prevalent with Baseball Players, Computer Operator, Football players, Golfers, Hairdressers, Keyboard Operators, Musicians, Racquet ball players, Nurses etc..
Don’t let pain continue to affect your life. Therapeutic massage will relieve your pain and give you greater freedom of movement. Receive the benefits today, call your massage therapist to reserve your appointment for immediate relief!
It’s important to remember that these stretches are only effective after the adhesions have been released.
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References: Mayo Clinic Book of Home Remedies, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Release your pain by Dr. Brian Abelson DC