If you are experiencing elbow pain, it’s important to seek out professional help from one of our physical therapists to discuss treatment options. Let's get you started with physical therapy treatments to restore function and a full range of motion as soon as possible!
Physical therapy can help you to recover from arm pain
You might be experiencing elbow pain and not even know it. Chances are, you’re probably thinking that this is a problem with your shoulder or forearm, but the fact of the matter is that there are many different causes for elbow pain.
Types of Elbow Injuries We Treat
Medial epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow)
This affects the tendons on the outside of the elbow. It’s referred to as tennis elbow due to the nature of motion that often creates this condition. Sports like tennis, racquetball, and badminton are examples. The condition is created by overusing or overworking the supportive tendons that run along the outside of your elbow.
This condition is not reserved for only tennis players or athletes, as many adults, from working class to stay-at-home parents, can suffer from this condition. Any type of work or repetitive movements that produces the same sort of tennis motion may lead to this issue.
Symptoms of tennis elbow include:
Pain that radiates from the outside of your elbow, sometimes traveling to your wrist, a weakened grip, or pain when gripping an object.
Lateral epicondylitis (Golfer’s Elbow)
Lateral epicondylitis can create pain and discomfort on the inside of your elbow. This condition is commonly seen in athletes who play golf, baseball, and weight lift but this condition is not limited to those who play sports.
Inflammation of the lateral epicondyle can happen to people who work in construction jobs, painters, carpenters, plumbers, and other blue-collar labor jobs as well as parents who require much use of of their elbow in day-to-day activities.
Symptoms of golfer’s elbow include:
Pain that radiates from the inside of the elbow, a weakened grip strength, or pain when gripping an object. Use of the wrist often aggravates this condition as well.
This condition is an inflammation of the bursa, a fluid-filled sac that cushions and lubricates the joint. It is often caused by a blow to the elbow, repetitive stress, or infection.
Swelling and tightening of the elbow are often issues seen with this condition. The elbow joint can become harder to move as a result of the localized swelling.
Strains and Sprains
Pain related to a mild to severe strain are also very common injuries we see. Any type of sudden movement or force can result in a sprain or strain to the soft tissues surrounding the elbow, including the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. This can happen in a sporting event, a fall, or even an accident happening during simple everyday activities.
Symptoms may vary depending on the severity of the injury, but often include pain, swelling, bruising, stiffness, and difficulty moving the joint after the incident.
A dislocation is a separation of two or more bones that make up a joint. It can occur in any joint in the body but is most common in the shoulder, elbow, and hip. When the elbow is dislocated, the bones that make up the joint move out of their normal position.
This usually occurs after a fall or hard impact where the elbow’s position is compromised. Falling on an outstretched arm or directly on the elbow can dislocate the elbow.
If the elbow remains dislocated, a doctor or specialist will have to move the bone back in place, and then often they will check for a stress fracture afterward. Physical therapy exercises are often recommended to help get back your full range of motion after a traumatic dislocation injury.
Throwing injuries are common for children, but adults can fall victim to throwing injuries as well. These types of injuries usually result from a sudden and powerful twisting or throwing motion often seen in sports like baseball.
These injuries often involve the ligaments and tendons near the elbow and may require physical therapy exercises to strengthen the surrounding muscles and help recovery.
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that causes pain and swelling in the joints. It is the most common form of arthritis seen in adults, usually appearing over time.
Physical therapy can help strengthen muscles around the elbow joint to prevent further injury or damage. Exercises will also help to improve functional strength, range of motion, and flexibility of the joint.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that affects the joints in the body. This type of arthritis often leads to inflammation, pain, and joint destruction.
Physical therapy can help to improve range of motion, reduce pain and inflammation, and increase functional strength in the joint. PT often includes exercises that are low-impact and will not cause further inflammation to the elbow joint.
Radial Tunnel Syndrome
Radial tunnel syndrome is a condition that affects the radial nerve. This nerve travels down the arm and passes just below the elbow.
Symptoms of radial tunnel syndrome can include pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness in the forearm and hand. These symptoms are often worse at night and may keep you from sleeping well.
Physical therapy can help to reduce pain and inflammation, improve flexibility and strength, as well as restore normal range of motion in the elbow. PT may also include exercises to help prevent further damage to the nerve.
This condition is a rare joint injury that usually affects children and young adults. It is an inflammation and separation of the cartilage from the bone.
The osteochondritis dissecans often result in a piece of cartilage breaking off from the bone and floating around in the joint space.
This can lead to pain, swelling, and joint instability.
Physical therapy may be recommended to help improve range of motion, reduce swelling, and support the joint while it heals.
How Physical Therapy Helps Elbow Pain
Physical therapy is a great way to help heal various types of elbow pain. Whether your injury is from an acute injury or the result of overuse, we can help you get back to an active lifestyle with a customized plan of care.
Some of the treatments we may use include:
Our Clients Success Stories
Start Treating Your Elbow Pain at Impact Care Therapy
No matter the type of elbow injury you’ve sustained, the trained professionals at Impact Care Therapy will work with you to create a personalized physical therapy program that will help reduce your pain, improve your range of motion, and get you back to your regular activities.
The first step of recovering from an injury or chronic condition is consulting with a professional who understands how to treat your specific injury. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists so they can evaluate your condition and provide recommendations on recovering from the injury best suited for your needs.