Elbow pain is most commonly seen through direct trauma to the arm or through repetitive movements under loading. Trauma examples include falling onto your arm or sports collisions (rugby, hockey, football etc). Repetitive strain examples include sports (tennis, squash, racquetball, cricket etc), hobbies such as guitar, violin, wind instruments, professional builders, brick layers, those in flooring, carpentry and decorating jobs or even home DIY tasks such as drilling or screw driver use.
The other major cause for elbow pain is desk related postures that could overstrain to the muscles that move the wrist and elbow. This could be through incorrect desk height set up, chair height, keyboard and/or mouse position. This applies not only to the working population but also a large number of gamers who will use a home set up or station.
Often painful elbows are a result of wear and tear related inflammation of the joint surfaces or strains to associated arm and forearm muscles. Grip related tasks can become difficult in terms of pain and sensation of weakness. Gradually the arm, elbow or grip becomes less durable to the pain and so onset of pain or muscle fatigue gets quicker and quicker.
Constant ache or low-grade pain within the join
Sharp pain when gripping objects
Weakness in holding objects
Pain and/or inability to fully extend elbows
It is always incredibly important to assess the muscles and joints of the wrist, elbow, shoulder, neck and upper back and ribs. Elbow pain can be a result of nerve entrapment in the neck or shoulder, or as a result of muscle compensation from hand or shoulder problems.
Treatment will involve osteopathic mobilisation techniques to improve mobility of the joints that make up the elbow included manipulation techniques. Often a great deal of deep tissue massage is required to ease the tension out of the forearm and upper arm/shoulder and reduce elbow pain. Techniques involving muscle contraction and relaxation interventions may be utilised to further benefit the mobility of the elbow.
Specific posture advice whether it be sitting or desk based, the way in which you’re using your arms and shoulder during manual labor tasks/jobs or even sports/instrument positions.
Hydrotherapy can really increase the healing speed of elbow problems and the use of cold or hot packs can be of great benefit.
Strengthening or flexibility advice for the muscles associated with the wrist, forearm, shoulder or neck may be advised.