Though many elbow injuries are no more than a bump or bruise, such as hitting your “Funny Bone”, some are definitely no laughing matter. If you are experiencing pain around your elbow when gripping objects or weakness in your hands and wrists on a regular basis, you may have a more serious elbow injury. If these symptoms are impeding your daily life, Advance Health and Wellness can examine the area and try to come up with a treatment plan that will help reduce your pain and hopefully remedy your condition.
Everyone has probably experienced some sort of elbow injury. Many times we land on elbows when we fall, twist our arm the wrong way at the elbow, or have our elbow jerked somehow during an activity. The most common elbow injuries are minor, but can range from bruising and tears, dislocation and fractures, injuries to ligaments or tendons, to pulled muscles. Because of the range of possible injury, you could experience minor or sever symptoms such as pain, swelling, weakness, numbness or tingling extending into your ring or pinkie fingers, or decreased range of motion.
“Tennis Elbow” is the common name for the condition caused by frequent and excessive use of the arm, forearm, and hand muscles, which results in elbow pain. Either abrupt or prolonged injury to the outside muscles and tendons of the forearm, which are attached to the bony outer area of the elbow, can result in this type of injury. The medical terminology for this, which you could have heard from your doctor, is “lateral epicondylitis”.
Although tennis elbow does affect tennis players, it can also be seen in other athletes or anyone whose regular or leisure activities involve repetitive movements of the arm, elbow, hand, or wrist, especially while maintaining a tight grip on something. Examples of those who may be affected are baseball players, golfers, bowlers, landscapers and gardeners, professional cleaners, factory workers, or mechanics.
In the same category, “Golfer’s Elbow”, or “medial epicondylitis”, is a similar injury to the inside muscles of the forearms that connect to the elbow and control your wrists and fingers. Your pain will be centralized where your forearm muscles’ tendons attach to the knob on the inside of your elbow and may travel down into your wrist and forearm. Much like with Tennis Elbow, your pain may increase while gripping an object, or even attempting to shake hands.
Similar to many injuries, participating in athletic activities greatly increases your risk of an elbow injury. This is especially true for Tennis and Golfer’s elbow, though both conditions can affect anyone, regardless of athletic involvement. Never let the fear of an injury keep you from living an active and healthy lifestyle, however. The benefits to your body of staying fit far outweigh the risks of a treatable condition.
No matter how you came to hurt your elbow, a visit to Advance Health and Wellness can help get you back on course, and back in the swing of things.