Patients commonly experience elbow pain in either the lateral (outer), medial (inner) or posterior (back) aspects of the elbow. These injuries are commonly the result of repetitive activity or overuse, gradually occurring and build in intensity with prolonged activity and time. We commonly see these types of elbow pains in desk bound staff, golfers, tennis players (all racquet sports for that matter), and frequent gym goers. Other types of elbow injuries may (and do) occur as the result of acute trauma such as a fall directly onto the elbow or an outstretched hand. Ligament damage, although less common than in the knee and ankle, can also exist in the elbow and we see this type of injury in baseball pitchers.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
Elbow pain can often be described as:
- A deep and dull ache to the inside/outside or back of the elbow, possibly radiating down the forearm to the wrist
- A sharp, burning sensation – sometimes associated with the presence of pins and needles
- Hot and warm to touch
- An occasional swelling around the elbow.
CAUSES OF ELBOW PAIN
There are many causes of elbow pain, with the below being some of the most common:
- Tennis Elbow – Lateral Elbow Pain
- Golfers Elbow – Medial elbow pain
- A wear and tear (or ‘fraying’) of the common tendon origin points
- Biceps and/or triceps tendinopathy, or partial tears
- Olecranon Bursitis
- Nerve entrapment – most commonly radial nerve
- Subluxation or dislocation of the joint with damage to joint capsules, articular surfaces and ligaments
- Osteoarthritis of the elbow joint
- Don’t forget – pain in the elbow can also be referred from the cervical spine – your neck!
TREATMENT OF ELBOW PAIN AT EVOKER
Elbow pain is quite a common presentation here at Evoker. We are constantly telling people that if left untreated, it can persist for months and months. Physiotherapy is the first-line management strategy for elbow pain, whether it be pain referred from a higher source (neck), or pain derived from a musculoskeletal structure right at the sore point.
Whilst we excel in improving patient outcomes in the above mentioned ‘common conditions’, Physiotherapists at Evoker also have a special interest in assessing and treating those ‘hard to find’ injuries. We have a saying around here: ‘make sure you see the injury before it sees you!’
Some of these ‘more obscure’ conditions include: