Repetitive strain elbow injuries are increasingly common in today’s society due to endless hours of computer and cell-phone usage often coupled with sports or exercises that end up irritating tissue around the elbow. Thankfully, the combination of manual therapy and exercise used at North Shore Spine and Sport will usually counter these strains with some immediacy and help you eliminate pain. Whether you are suffering from tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, bursitis, or a more isolated muscle pain, we can help!
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Elbow pain causes are varied, but usually are due to some kind of repetitious strain or acute trauma. Dr. Melander treats far more repetitive strain elbow injuries than anything else. In most of these cases there has been an overuse injury to tissues either above or below the elbow that begins to cause a stress on tissues at the elbow joint.
These conditions can be quite painful, and in certain circumstances can prove somewhat stubborn do to how much we use our arms, but with some diligence full resolve is the expectation.
Tip of elbow pain:
Some people may experience pain in the tip of the elbow due to the joints that are in close proximity as well as some of the muscle, connective tissue, nerve, and bursa structures in the area. Pain in this area is usually easily managed with therapy and exercise.
Pain in elbow when straightening arm, Elbow pain when bending the arm:
It is common to experience pain in the elbow when straightening or bending the arm but the circumstances driving this pain are varied. Those circumstances include muscle and connective tissue strains, loss of joint range of motion, and nerve entrapment. Dr. Melander recommends consulting with a trained healthcare provider to determine what is causing the pain you feel when straightening the arm.
Elbow pain when lifting:
Due to the loads imposed on the arms during a variety of lifts, it is common to experience pain in the elbow area. In many cases, this is due to strain and subsequent inflammation of muscle and connective tissue that acts on the elbow. Dr. Melander treats these sorts of issues with regularity and can help you get to the bottom of the issue quickly.
Elbow pain when gripping:
It is very common to experience elbow pain with gripping which is generally due to overuse of the musculature in the forearm, all of which originates from a few places at the elbow. These situations are usually easily managed with activity modification, therapy, and exercise.
Elbow joint pain:
There are 2 joints that comprise the elbow, the radiohumeral joint, and the ulnohumeral joint. It is common to develop pain in one or both of these joint areas due some kind of strain or trauma to the area. A trained healthcare provider will be able to help you quickly identify what is going wrong and how to resolve it as quickly as possible.
Elbow pain Treatment: Elbow pain treatment is entirely dependent on the type of elbow injury as well as the severity of that injury. At North Shore Spine and Sport, Dr. Melander uses no drugs or surgery, opting instead for a combination of hands-on manual therapy like Active Release Techniques®, Functional Range Release®, Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization, along with mobility or strength training.
Elbow pain relief: Elbow pain relief can usually be attained with either activity modification, therapy, exercise, or some combination of the three. A trained healthcare provider should be able to guide you on the path to recovery.
What causes elbow pain without injury?
The overwhelming majority of elbow pains that Dr. Melander treats at North Shore Spine and Sport are due to cumulative strain circumstances rather than acute trauma or injury moment. In cumulative strain circumstances, there hass likely been activity that has caused a gradual but persistent stress on tissues either above or below the elbow that eventually led to sensitization for the elbow.
What does tendonitis in the elbow feel like?
There are two most common forms of tendonitis at the elbow referred to as Tennis Elbow and Golfer’s Elbow. Tennis elbow is felt in the lateral elbow area and is due to strains to the group of muscles that extend the wrist.
Golfer’s elbow is felt in the medial elbow area and is due to strains to the group of muscles that flex the wrist. These pains are often described as sharp, tender, and associated with gripping motions at the hand/wrist.
When should you see a doctor for elbow pain?
You should see a doctor or other trained healthcare provider for elbow pain if your pain is concerning, worsening, or does not improve within a few days or weeks of activity modification.
How do you treat elbow pain?
Most pain, as is true for elbow pain, can be managed by modifying pain aggravating activity. If that does not work, Dr. Melander uses a combination of hands-on manual therapy like Active Release Techniques®, Functional Range Release®, Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization, along with mobility or strength training.
The small group personal training will contain everything that 1-on-1 personal training does, but with a couple unique considerations. To begin with, small group training requires that the participating individuals have similar goals.
For example, if one person participating is a regular yogi, their goals may be largely just about strength/conditioning. On the other hand, if one person is a regular at CrossFit their goals may be largely just about mobility training. Unfortunately, it will be challenging to provide both people the best possible service if the desired training stimulus is completely different.
Not to worry though, Dr. Melander will likely suggest 1-on-1 training for each individual. The other consideration is that no 2 people have identical physical capacity. Therefore, programming will always be modified slightly relative to your abilities and your friend’s, spouse’s, or colleague’s abilities.
That may mean that the amount of weight being lifted is different for each person or it may mean that exercise selection is slightly different for each person based on what the desired training stimulus is. In that vein, North Shore Spine and Sport will always be a judgement free zone.
Personal training is meant to build you up, physically and emotionally, and Dr. Melander feels quite strongly that the environment is only ever supportive, encouraging, and uplifting.
Pain on the outside of the elbow, known as the lateral side of the elbow, is often referred to as Tennis Elbow. Medically, Tennis elbow is referred to as lateral epiconylalgia, lateral epicondylitis, or lateral epicondylosis.
The lateral epicondyle is a bony protuberance formed where the radius (forearm bone) meets the humerus (upper arm bone). In a tennis elbow scenario, there is often pain near the lateral epicondyle and tenderness pressing on the lateral epicondyle.
Tennis elbow causes are usually due to strain and eventual inflammation of the tendons that connect to the lateral epicondyle. These tendons contribute to wrist extension, forearm supination, and elbow extension.
Tennis elbow treatment should consist of activity modification to reduce any inflammation, followed by some combination of therapy and exercise to improve the health of the tendons.
Many people ask for tennis elbow stretches but Dr. Melander would advise to seek more strength exercises for tennis elbow than stretches for tennis elbow. Some tennis elbow exercises therefore might include wrist extensor isometrics, wrist extensor eccentrics, elbow extension isometrics, elbow extension eccentrics.
If exercise and activity modification does not sufficiently reduce tennis elbow pain, Dr. Melander may utilize hands-on manual therapies to treat the involved tendons.
What is the best treatment for tennis elbow?
Aside from activity modification, there is no single best treatment for tennis elbow, but there is a best concept for treatment of tennis elbow. The goal should be to increase the load bearing capacity of the tissues that are relevant to the lateral elbow by progressively overloading the tissues and making them more resilient.
How long does it take for tennis elbow to heal?
In many cases of tennis elbow by the time a person presents to their healthcare provider with the complaint, there is already an inflammatory reaction occurring in their tissues. Therefore, some time is needed, maybe a couple of weeks, to modify activity and reduce inflammation.
Once inflammation is reduced, more direct treatment or rehab methods can be utilized which should resolve the issue within a month or so. Dr. Melander has seen a few cases of severe tendon pathology associated with tennis elbow that required medicinal intervention or even surgery.
How do you heal tennis elbow fast?
Activity modification and wrist extension isometrics are a great start. Tennis elbow is usually cumulative by nature though and may not resolve rapidly.
How do you get tennis elbow?
Tennis elbow causes are usually due to strain and eventual inflammation of the tendons that connect to the lateral epicondyle in the outside (lateral) elbow area.
Pain on the inside of the elbow, known as the medial side of the elbow, is often referred to as Golfer’s elbow. Medically, Golfer’s elbow is referred to as medial epiconylalgia, medial epicondylitis, or medial epicondylosis.
The medial epicondyle is a bony protuberance formed where the ulna (forearm bone) meets the humerus (upper arm bone). In a golfer’s elbow scenario, there is often pain near the medial epicondyle and tenderness pressing on the medial epicondyle.
Golfer’s elbow causes are usually due to strain and eventual inflammation of the tendons that connect to the medial epicondyle. These tendons contribute to wrist flexion, forearm pronation, and elbow flexion.
Golfer's elbow treatment should consist of activity modification to reduce any inflammation, followed by some combination of therapy and exercise to improve the health of the tendons.
Many people ask for Golfer’s elbow stretches but Dr. Melander would advise to seek more strength exercises for Golfer’s elbow than stretches for Golfer’s elbow. Some Golfer’s elbow exercises therefore might include wrist flexor isometrics, wrist flexor eccentrics, elbow flexion isometrics, elbow flexion eccentrics.
If exercise and activity modification does not sufficiently reduce Golfer’s elbow pain, Dr. Melander may utilize hands-on manual therapies to treat the involved tendons.
What is the best treatment for golfer’s elbow?
Aside from activity modification, there is no single best treatment for Golfer’s elbow, but there is a best concept for treatment of Golfer’s elbow. The goal should be to increase the load bearing capacity of the tissues that are relevant to the medial elbow by progressively overloading the tissues and making them more resilient.
How long does it take for golfer’s elbow to heal?
In many cases of Golfer’s elbow by the time a person presents to their healthcare provider with the complaint, there is already an inflammatory reaction occurring in their tissues.
Therefore, some time is needed, maybe a couple of weeks, to modify activity and reduce inflammation. Once inflammation is reduced, more direct treatment or rehab methods can be utilized which should resolve the issue within a month or so.
Will Golfer’s elbow go away?
Most likely yes, provided appropriate activity modification is accomplished that allows for sufficient reduction of inflammation and healing of the relevant tendons.
What is the difference between Golfer’s elbow and Tennis Elbow?
The major difference is location in that tennis elbow occurs to the lateral elbow and Golfer’s elbow occurs to the medial elbow. Both situations involve tendon overuse and eventual irritation/inflammation at an elbow joint.
Dr. Melander has often described his work as new-school rehab, which is to say, an amalgamation of current best practices regarding pain or injury management, hands-on manual therapy or strength/mobility training, and endless advocacy and support for his patients.
In Dr. Melander’s opinion, the best providers in the field of musculoskeletal injury are able to draw from multiple disciplines to create the most efficient and impactful care strategy for their patients. If you are injured or hurting and not sure what to do, please reach out, it will be our greatest pleasure to help you.
We've compiled a list of common chiropractic questions to help you get all the answers you are looking for. If you have additional questions if our chiropractic and treatment services in North Shore would be a good fit for you, please contact our team.
Chiropractors are trained in the evaluation and management (IE: treatment) of issues affecting the neuromusculoskeletal system (muscles, joints, connective tissue, nerves). Many people associate chiropractic care with the spine only, but this is an inaccurate reflection of many chiropractors in the 21st century who are experts in treating spinal issues AND extremity issues (arms and legs). As a general rule of thumb, if you have a painful condition that does not get better given a few days of activity modification you may want to consult a professional like a chiropractor. Your chiropractor should be able to evaluate your painful condition, offer you some perspective and guidance relative to the painful condition, and help you care for the painful condition if treatment is warranted. Like any profession though, each chiropractor has different clinical experience and different post-graduate education that may lend their practice toward a focus on sports injuries or pregnancy/neonatal care or neurologic issues or nutritional issues to name just a few. If you are considering seeing a chiropractor, make sure that their experience and skill set seems like a proper match for your complaint and your ultimate goals.
Choosing a good chiropractor does not have to be a complicated process. To begin with, ask your friends or family if they know someone they trust and can vet for you. Next, check online as most chiropractors should have fairly informative websites relative to their clinical interests and experience that may help indicate whether they are a good fit for your issue. If you are still not sure who to see after taking those steps, call your prospective chiropractor’s office as either the staff or the chiropractor will be more than happy to answer any questions and tell you if your issue is something commonly treated in that office. Many people also like to read online reviews and while some online reviews can be misleading, if the significant majority of a chiropractor’s reviews are super positive then chances are you can trust the expertise of that provider. Lastly, and arguably the most important step in choosing a good chiropractor, remember that you are in total control of your healthcare decision making. If you go to an initial or follow-up appointment and you are not absolutely confident in the assessment and plan your chiropractor has rendered, then seek a second opinion.
A chiropractor can help you fix a wide variety of painful conditions related to the neuromusculoskeletal system such as headaches, back/neck pain, shoulder/elbow/wrist/hand pains, hip/knee/ankle/foot pains to name just a few. Injuries of actual orthopedic compromise like fractures are best handled by orthopedists, but chances are if your pain/injury is non-surgical in nature then a chiropractor may be a great option to help you. The best chiropractors will explain what they can about your pain/injury, offer guidance and likely treatment as efficiently as possible (days to weeks, maybe months in extreme situations), and then remove themselves and let your brain/body do the rest. A great deal of research these days indicates that in many healthcare interactions providers should try and limit their patient’s dependency on them, opting instead for interventions and language that fosters resiliency and self-efficacy (independence).
Your first chiropractic appointment should include a detailed discussion of your health history and presenting complaint(s), an examination of your complaint(s), a discussion regarding what is indicated by the examination relative to prognosis and treatment plan, and finally some form of treatment/intervention assuming time permits. Many painful conditions can be evaluated thoroughly and completely in a matter of minutes and certain treatment interventions could yield immediate relief, while other conditions may require more complex evaluations and more lengthy treatment plans. Above all, you should leave your first chiropractic appointment feeling confident that your chiropractor is the best option to help you with your problem and you should leave feeling confident that you are on the road to recovery.
You should see a chiropractor as often as you want or need. Perhaps the most common criticism of chiropractors is that chiropractors “need to see you for the rest of your life”, and while there are unfortunately examples of chiropractors who advocate for this kind of dependency, the significant majority of chiropractors today want to help you as quickly as possible with no long-term commitments of any kind. The best chiropractor will see you the minimally necessary number of times to help you overcome your issue and suggest you follow-up if there are any residual issues or new complaints sometime in the future. Many patients however recognize how good they feel after chiropractic care and therefore wish to see their chiropractor with some kind of recurring frequency (IE: once/month, twice/year, or more). These examples though should be dictated by the patient based on their assessment of their body’s needs and absolutely not dictated by the chiropractor based on some kind of pseudoscientific reasoning.
In many cases, yes, insurance will help pay for chiropractic care assuming the chiropractor is participating with your health insurer. If your chiropractor is not participating with health insurance, then it is still possible you have an out-of-network benefit with your insurer and can seek reimbursement that way.
At NSSS our approach to health, fitness, movement, and pain is unique. We can’t wait to show you how much better you can feel. Call, email, or stop by today!
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