Elbow pain – Conditions and Treatment

June 21st, 2012
Elbow pain – Conditions and Treatment

Elbow pain is a very common medical condition and its causes can be varied. An accurate diagnosis of the cause is needed so appropriate treatment can be implemented and elbow pain is eliminated and full functionality is restored.

Let’s talk about these conditions and treatment for elbow pain.

• Tennis Elbow – is a common cause of elbow pain and is observed in manual laborers and sports enthusiasts. Symptoms for this condition include pain felt running down the forearm and when trying to lift objects. Rehabilitation for tennis elbow follows the RICE principle: Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevate. This is phase one and it aims to decrease the inflammation and pain around the affected area as well as to promote healing of tissue and slow down muscle atrophy.

• Golfer’s Elbow – is another common cause of elbow pain and is due to repetitive stress or action on the affected area. Rehabilitation for this condition aims to increase endurance and strength, improve flexibility and restore normal functionality of the affected body part. There are preventive techniques that can be observed to avoid this injury. Be sure to warm up and prepare muscles and tendons before performing activities. Stretching is also important to keep muscles and tendons flexible and is a great help in avoiding any elbow pain injury.

• Elbow bursitis – another elbow pain condition happens when the olecranon bursa is inflamed and becomes filled with fluid. Symptoms are swelling of the bony tip of the elbow and limited motion of the elbow. Physical therapy treatment includes RICE and ultrasound therapy to increase the flow of blood to the injured area.

• Cubinal tunnel syndrome – occurs when the ulnar nerve get pinched as it passes through the elbow. Symptoms for this elbow pain causing condition are pain, numbness or tingling in the fingers and feeling weakness of the hand muscles. Prevention for this condition includes protecting your elbow by keeping it as straight as you can at all times, having massage breaks by letting it hang freely and doing wrist stretches while at work or at play.

• Radical tunnel syndrome – causes elbow pain due to pressure to the radial nerve travelling from the brachial plexus of the upper arm down to the hand and the wrist. Also known as the resistant tennis elbow, physical therapy can be applied to treat it by using hot and cold packs. Cold helps to reduce the inflammation and slows down the pain signals being transmitted to the brain. Heat gives pain relief as well as improves the elasticity of ligaments and tendons.

As the symptoms and conditions causing elbow pain can be closely related and difficult to self-diagnose, consulting the doctor is always the recommended approach.