Regain Pain-Free Range of Motion
Do you suffer from elbow pain? Does it hurt to swing a tennis racquet or golf club? Are you avoiding doing the things you love because they’re painful? We understand how debilitating it can be. But you don’t have to live in pain, and you can get your range of motion back. You can also prevent elbow pain from recurring. We believe one of the first steps in finding elbow pain relief is understanding your pain, how your elbows work, and what’s causing the pain in the first place.
How Your Elbows Work
Your elbows are a hinged joints that allow the bones to move in one direction back and forth. Your knees, ankles, toes, and fingers also contain hinged joints. Your elbow joint has three bones:
- Humerus, or upper arm bone
- Ulna, one of your forearm bones
- Radial head, or top of the radial bone that goes from your elbow to your wrist
Like your knee joint, the ends of the bones are covered with cartilage to provide shock absorbency, Ligaments hold the bones together and attach the muscles to the bones. The medial collateral ligament is on the inside of your elbow, while the lateral collateral ligament is on the outside of your elbow. Both ligaments connect to the bony bumps on your elbow, called the lateral epicondyle (outside) and medial epicondyle (inside).
Elbow pain happens when there’s a problem with one or more of the parts of your elbow.
Elbow Pain Symptoms
The quality and location of your elbow pain provide clues to what is causing it. Some common symptoms include:
- Elbow pain when bending
- Elbow pain when straightening arm
- Elbow pain when lifting
- Inner elbow pain
- Elbow joint pain
- Elbow and shoulder pain
- Forearm and elbow pain
- Outer elbow pain
- Elbow nerve pain
- Sharp pain in elbow
- Inability to straighten the arm
- Elbow tendon pain
- Shooting pain in elbow
- Elbow ligament pain
- Pain in shoulder elbow and wrist joints
- Sudden joint pain in knees and elbows
When you see a doctor, you will want to describe the quality and location of the pain, and when you experience it, as precisely as you can.
What Causes Elbow Pain?
The most common cause of elbow pain is injury from overuse, causing inflammation of the tendons and ligaments, but arthritis and injuries cause it as well. We see patients with elbow pain caused by:
- Bursitis (inflammation of the elbow joint)
- Golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis)
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Stress fractures
- Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis)
- Throwing injuries
Elbow Pain FAQs
Q: What is tennis elbow?
A: Tennis elbow is a painful form of tendonitis affecting where the tendons of your forearm muscles connect to the bony bump on the outside of your elbow. The pain can extend into your forearm and wrist. The medical term for it is lateral epicondylitis. While it’s common in tennis players, it’s a repetitive use injury that can affect carpenters, plumbers, and painters.
Q: What is golfer’s elbow?
A: Golfer’s elbow is another overuse injury of the elbow. Also known as medial epicondylitis, you feel the pain on the inside of your elbow and forearm. Your elbow might feel stiff, and it can hurt to make a fist with your hand. You might also have numbness and tingling in your fingers.
Q: Can carpal tunnel cause elbow pain:
A: Yes. Although carpal tunnel primarily affects your wrists and hands, the pain can extend into the elbow.
Q: How do I know if my elbow pain is serious?
A: You should see a doctor if you have a deformity of your elbow, severe pain, swelling, pain with bending or straightening, or pain that continues even at rest. You should also see a doctor if conservative care at home such as rest, icing, and pain relievers aren’t working.
Q: How do you fix elbow pain?
A: To give you elbow pain relief and prevent it from recurring, focus on the underlying cause of your pain to come up with a plan of action. Keep reading to see how Cima Health can help you.
How Cima Health Can Help
Cima Health provides restorative, lifelong solutions that target the root cause of your elbow pain. Your care will start out with a comprehensive evaluation to assess your pain. We will also ask questions about your work and home life, lifestyle, and habits before making recommendations for an integrative plan of care. Together, we come up with conservative and alternative treatments that can help you achieve whole-body wellness and live pain-free for life.
Treating and preventing elbow pain involves several treatment modalities, all of which you can receive in one location. They include:
Let’s take a look at how each of these areas works together to provide you with natural pain relief and inspires you to make lifestyle changes to prevent elbow pain in the future.
Chiropractic care may provide nearly immediate elbow pain relief, depending on the underlying cause of your pain. Chiropractic adjustments, manual therapy, dry needling, and Class IV laser treatment can all help relieve your pain. Regular chiropractic care may also help you avoid surgery.
Our Palm Beach Gardens chiropractors are all highly trained professionals and include:
And if you’re an avid golfer, you should know that Dr. James is certified through the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI), the number one organization in the world dedicated to understanding how the body functions with the swing of a golf club. He can help you improve your swing and put an end to golfer’s elbow.
Dr. Natalie cares for our pediatric patients. Tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, and throwing injuries are common injuries for student athletes.
In addition to chiropractic care for elbow pain relief, your team may determine you would benefit from joint injections. Our medical care team administers joint injections as needed for our patients suffering from elbow pain.
Known as corticosteroid injections, steroid injections can provide immediate elbow pain relief. You will be limited to a certain number of steroid injections each year because of potential side effects. And of course, our goal is to help you find pain relief through other modalities, including physical therapy, weight loss, exercise, and more.
Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy is another treatment where we help your body heal itself. Using your own plasma, we can help your body heal tissue, tendons, and muscles faster.
Physical Therapy (PT)
Physical therapy, when combined with other treatments can also help with elbow pain. Your physical therapist may use manual therapy, joint mobilization, laser therapy, and other treatments to address your elbow pain and help you heal.
We will develop an exercise and stretching program to help you get elbow pain relief as well as increase your mobility and flexibility. You will be able to do many of these elbow pain exercises and stretches at home as well as with your physical therapist at Cima Health.
Massage therapy is another modality we offer that can complement the other treatments. Targeted, therapeutic massage can reduce inflammation, pain, and stiffness. Deep tissue massage stimulates the muscles, tendons, and blood vessels in and around your elbow, improving circulation and bringing in new joint fluid. Massage therapy can be especially helpful for patients with osteoarthritis. And of course, massage will also relax you and improve your mental wellbeing.
The last component of preventing elbow pain is becoming physically fit. Whether you’ve recovered from elbow surgery or a broken arm and want to regain strength or you want to prevent elbow injuries while playing golf or playing tennis, we can help.
Our physical fitness team of personal trainers can help develop an exercise and weight loss regimen tailored to you that reduces your elbow pain and helps prevent it from returning in the future. We will also focus on injury prevention, if a sports injury is what brought you through our doors.
The entire team at Cima Health works together to provide you with coordinated care and restorative, lifelong solutions.
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Book an Appointment
Elbow pain can make it hard to do the things you love – like playing tennis or golf. But it can also interfere with your ability to take care of your children. If you’re looking for an integrative treatment for elbow pain, book an appointment today. One of our chiropractors will do a comprehensive examination to get to the root cause of your pain and develop an integrative plan of care to relieve your pain and inspire you to achieve whole-body wellness.