The elbow is a complicated 3 joint structure that enables us to lift, reach, throw and is involved it just about every action your arm can perform.
There are many conditions and contributing factors that can cause pain and dysfunction. It is important to consider and assess the movement of the joints in the elbow as well as the soft tissues that hold it together, the muscles the move it and the neural tissue as is passes through the tight moving passages in the elbow down to the wrist.
Common conditions that cause elbow pain include:
- Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis)
- Golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis)
- Lateral or medial ligament injury
- Olecranon or radial head fracture
- Neural entrapment
- Referred pain (usually from the neck, shoulder or wrist)
Initially, treatment should be aimed at properly identifying any tissue damage and/or mechanical dysfunction before deciding whether to protect, stretch or strengthen the elbow complex. Consideration of the shoulder and wrist as contributing factors also should be assessed to ensure you are not spending countless hours on rehabilitation with no effect.