Efficient upper limb movement during sport and everyday activities requires a highly functioning elbow. Elbow pain is commonly seen in athletes competing in raquet sports, golf, gymnastics and throwing sports. Occupational activities may also contribute to overuse injuries, leading to gradually worsening impairment.
Common elbow pathologies treated successfully by physiotherapy include;
Tennis elbow/extensor tendinopathy
Golfer's elbow/flexor tendinopathy
Ligament sprains, acute or chronic
Use of the upper limb during sport and everyday activities demands a well-functioning elbow to ensure pain-free, efficient movement patterns. With changes in training volume, technique, duties or equipment used at work or on the sporting field, an overload of the forearm extensor muscles/tendons can create an extensor tendinopathy with associated pain at the lateral elbow.
This pathology is often called “ tennis elbow” and these patients struggle with activities that involve gripping or wrist extension. Patients often report pain acutely after lifting something heavy or from a hard backhand in tennis, but most commonly they report pain 48-72 hours after unaccustomed manual work. This overload could take the
form of a busy weekend around the garden, typing hours on end at work after a couple weeks off on holiday, or tennis players trying a new racket, hitting wet balls or overhitting the ball.
Pain on the inside of the elbow may be due to an overload of the forearm flexor muscles as they attached into the inside of the elbow. Gym trainers and golfers often complain of medial elbow pain due to an overload of the forearm flexors. A very similar pathological process occurs to that of a extensor tendinopathy, with pain brought on by unaccustomed loads. Medial elbow pain may also be related to excessive throwing activities.
Baseball pitchers and cricketers with sub-optimal throwing technique can put stress on the medial collateral ligament of the elbow, leading to the loosening of this ligament and associated pain during sport. In the younger sporting population, repeated elbow hyperextension during gymnastics or players using a swinging arm to tackle in rugby can lead to bony impingement of the posterior elbow.
In the older population, posterior elbow pain is often due to osteoarthritic changes. Like with other parts of the musculoskeletal system, elbow pain may be caused by dysfunctional tissues in other areas of the body such as the cervical or thoracic spine, shoulder, or neural impingement anywhere along the upper limb.
These conditions are just a few we see and treat successfully everyday here at Game Time Physiotherapy. If you have any questions about your elbow pain, send through a message and we will be in contact as soon as possible.
Have a question about your elbow pain?
Pain should never be accepted as 'normal' as it limits our ability to perform at our best and effects the quality of sleep we get. To take control of your elbow pain, book an appointment online now to resolve this common disability for good.
Game Time Physiotherapy
1/449Lytton Road, Morningside QLD 4170