Somewhere between the shoulder joint, which provides our arm with the vast majority of its movement, and the hand, which gives us such incredible fine motor control, lies the elbow joint. Although it doesn’t have a real claim to fame (apart from the funny bone that’s actually not that funny) it isn’t without its own fair share of ailments and injuries. This simple little hinge joint, which actually brings together 3 bones, gets a bit tired of all the work expected from it, resulting in the most frequent ailment coming from repetitive use. Check out these common injuries of the elbow:
The classic Tennis Elbow is the badge of honour for those who prefer swinging a racket over actually playing the sport. If you have pain over the outside of your elbow joint, this could be your diagnosis and believe it or not, contrary to what the name suggests, you don’t actually have to play tennis to have this condition. Any occupation or sport that has you gripping a tool, bat, club, racket or even simply spending hours per day typing on a keyboard (even with two fingers like myself!) could contribute to this condition.
The muscles of the common wrist extensors have been overworked, become tight and start to pull heavily on their insertion to the bone, causing inflammation, pain and damage from repeated use. Although rest is a great way to start the healing process, there is much that can be done to heal this injury. So, grab your sweatband, because we're about to serve you some epic recovery moves.
Oh, you enjoy golfing, do you? Well, your elbow seems to have a bone to pick with your hobbies. Don't worry; we'll help you regain your grip on the golf club, and maybe even teach you a few swings that won’t make your elbow scream in anger. Pain is felt on the inside of your elbow with this pesky condition, and presents with very similar symptoms to Tennis Elbow, other than the location of the pain.
Golfer’s elbow is caused by the common wrist flexors being overworked and tight, causing the same inflammation, pain and damage as Tennis Elbow does. The movement of the wrist that particularly aggravates this condition is the same as hitting a nail with a hammer, this movement is called ulnar deviation, so it’s definitely not just related to playing golf. So let’s tell this condition to tee off and hit a hole-in-one!
Should I Wear An Elbow Brace For Tennis & Golfers Elbow?
As both Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis) and Golfer’s Elbow (Medial Epicondylitis) are similar conditions, they can both benefit from using an Elbow Brace.
One of the most difficult things with both of these conditions is resting the arm enough to give the area a chance to completely recover.
This is where the Dr Kez Chirolab® Elbow Brace comes in handy! The narrow EVA foam pad in the Dr Kez ChiroLab® Elbow Brace provides a new anchor point for the muscle, helping to re-direct the stressful forces away from the injury so that it is no longer pulling as much on this inflamed and painful area. This allows for helping to relieve pain and aims to protect the area, helping a faster and more complete healing to take place.
To read more and watch a video about the Elbow Brace click HERE
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome is the rebellious cousin of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Just when you thought your nerves couldn't cause any more trouble, along comes this condition to give your elbow a run for its money.
Picture this: your ulnar nerve, which runs through a narrow tunnel on the inner side of your elbow (the cubital tunnel, of course), decides to throw a tantrum. It gets irritated, compressed, or pinched, leading to a range of delightful symptoms that will make you question the sanity of your own elbow. It’s like hitting your funny bone on repeat! Remember how I mentioned that it’s actually not that funny? Case in point.
First, you'll experience that tingling sensation in your ring and little finger, as if they've decided to throw a non-stop party without your permission. Numbness will join the mix, making you wonder if your fingers have developed a secret life of their own. And let's not forget the inevitable weakness in your hand, as if your grip has gone on vacation and left you to fend for yourself.
But wait, there's more! As a special bonus feature, cubital tunnel syndrome loves to make itself known at the most inconvenient times. Imagine trying to hold a phone or type on a keyboard without feeling like you're getting zapped by an electric eel. Fun, right?
Elbow bursitis is the inflammation party happening in your elbow. Let's delve into this condition that turns your bursa into a rowdy gathering of pain and swelling.
So, what exactly is bursitis? Well, imagine your elbow as a fancy mansion, complete with a cushioned seating area called a bursa. The bursa's job is to provide a smooth surface for the tendons to glide over, reducing friction and allowing you to move your elbow with grace and elegance. But sometimes, things go haywire, and the bursa decides to throw a raging inflammation party.
What triggers this wild shindig? Well, repetitive motions like excessive leaning on your elbows or performing the same activities over and over again, is what puts stress on your elbow resulting in an irritated bursa. Suddenly, the bursa becomes red, swollen, and painful, and you're left wondering why your elbow turned into the neighbourhood troublemaker.
Let's break down Olecranon Fracture—a condition that turns your elbow into a fractured comedy act…that’s not funny.
The most common cause of an Olecranon Fracture is usually a direct blow or trauma to the elbow. Ouch! Talk about a punchline gone wrong.
When it comes to how it presents, you'll experience immediate pain and tenderness at the back of your elbow, right where the Olecranon—the bony prominence at the tip of your elbow—decides to crack under pressure. Swelling and bruising might make a fashionable entrance as well, turning your elbow into a colourful masterpiece.
The broken pieces of the Olecranon bone can cause a noticeable deformity, making it seem like your elbow has a rebellious new shape. And let's not forget about the limited range of motion and difficulty in straightening your arm. It's as if your elbow has developed stage fright and refuses to perform its usual moves.
How Can I Treat Elbow Pain At Home?
We hope that’s helped you know what you’re treating so the next step is to get some tips on how to treat those pesky elbow conditions at home. Here are some of our favourite ways!
Therapeutic Ultrasound For The Elbow
It’s time to alleviate the inflammation and pain in your sore elbow using the power of Therapeutic Ultrasound! Using a Therapeutic Ultrasound for your elbow pain is like having a Chiro in your home, giving professional results. Whether it’s Golfer’s or Tennis elbow, an Olecranon fracture, bursitis or cubital tunnel syndrome they’ll all be loving the benefits of this incredible device. The high-frequency sound waves of the Ultrasound, penetrate deep into the tissues, providing a myriad of benefits. Say ta-ta to pain as the Ultrasound waves help soothe inflammation, reduce swelling, and promote faster healing. Enhancing blood flow to the elbow, which brings vital nutrients and oxygen to the affected area, helps speed up recovery. Don't let your bung elbow conditions hold you back – unlock the transformative benefits of therapeutic ultrasound and reclaim your arm’s full strength and mobility! To read more and watch a video on how it works click HERE
Can I Do Vacuum Cupping For Elbow Pain?
Say hello to at-home Vacuum Cupping, an easy and great way to release tension in those tight forearm muscles that lead to Golfers, Tennis Elbow and bursitis! This ancient therapy has been made so much more convenient with the modern-day vacuum pump application that gives greater control to these smaller muscles, helping to give incredibly fast results. The suction from the vacuum cups works wonders in assisting the release of tight muscles, promoting circulation, and helping reduce pain. It's better than a deep tissue massage, giving those stubborn knots the flick and taking pressure off the tendon insertion points for healing to take place. So, say farewell to forearm tightness that leads to elbow pain and embrace the therapeutic benefits of Vacuum Cupping. Help restore normal elbow function using a Premium Vacuum Cupping Set HERE and learn more about all this modality can do for your entire body. Oh…and there’s a video to watch too!
Kirofix® Injury Relief Lotion
Say hello to 100% natural anti-inflammatory Kirofix® Injury Relief Lotion! This little gem is formulated (by us!) to soothe any painful and inflamed joint or soft tissue injury, including elbow issues. With Magnesium to soothe the muscles, Glucosamine to nurture the joints, Arnica to work on the bruising and swelling and many other natural ingredients including Kunzea, Yarrow & Ginger, to eliminate inflammation and pain and initiate soft tissue healing, Kirofix® is a must. Simply apply it to the affected area, and let its magical blend of active ingredients work their magic. It's like a secret sauce for your elbow—no cooking required! To learn more about Kirofix® click HERE
Resting A Sore Elbow
It's time to park that elbow on the couch and give it a break. Put those activities on hold that make your elbow throw a tantrum. Take a chill pill and let your elbow indulge in some much-needed R&R.
Ice Therapy For A Sore Elbow
Ice, ice, baby! Grab an ice pack or a bag of frozen veggies, wrap it in a towel (we're civilized here), and apply it to your cranky elbow. Wait…what??? That was soooo yesterday!!! If you really want to get the ice therapy working its best for you, check out our Wrap-On-Ice pack to get all the benefits of ice therapy ensuring good compression, without causing an ice burn or having to use freeze your hand off holding the ice pack on. Hands-free ice therapy, just what the doctor (Dr Kez that is!) ordered. Keep it there for 10 minutes and then have at least a 10 minute break, as often as required. Let the coolness soothe that fiery inflammation. Click HERE to see the Wrap-On-Ice Pack…that can also be heated, just sayin’!
Compression For Elbow Pain
Wrap it up, but not like a mummy. Grab a compression bandage or an elbow brace and give your elbow a gentle hug. Not too tight, though, we don't want to cut off the circulation. Just enough to keep the swelling in check and support your healing process. Keep in mind the Wrap-On-Ice pack mentioned above has the compression aspect covered during icing.
Should I Elevate My Painful Elbow
Time to elevate your elbow to a higher social status. Prop it up on a fluffy pillow or cushion, and show it the royal treatment. Elevating your elbow above heart level will help reduce swelling and encourage the removal of lymphatic fluid. Don’t succumb to the pull of gravity!
Gentle Exercises for Elbow Pain
When you're given the green light by your healthcare provider, engage in some elbow-tastic exercises. Stretch those muscles, improve flexibility, and restore your range of motion. Just remember, slow and steady wins the race. No need to rush, my friend! The resistance bands are an extremely effective way to do this. Check them out HERE
When Is It Time To Use Heat For Elbow Pain
Once the acute phase has simmered down, it's time to bring the heat (but not too hot to handle). Grab a Wrap-On-Ice pack and pop the gel pack in the microwave (instructions are on the pack) so that you can wrap the elbow up and let that cozy warmth and compression work its magic. Relax those muscles, increase blood flow, and help your elbow heal and feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Please remember heating is not an option immediately after an injury as we don’t want damaged vessels to bleed more into the area. Heat therapy is usually only an option after 72 hours.
Are There Any Natural Anti-Inflammatory Remedies For Elbow Pain?
Nature has a few tricks up her sleeve to help fight inflammation. Apart from using 100% natural Kirofix®, there are spices like turmeric and ginger which are like the superheroes of the kitchen cabinet. Pineapples bring the Bromelain to the party, and omega-3 fatty acids found in foods such as fish, walnuts, flaxseeds, chia and hemp seeds have your back. Incorporate these delights into your diet or consider the supplement form. There are also foods to avoid that may keep the body in an inflamed state so try and avoid red meats, processed foods, refined grains, snack foods such as chips and pastries, fried foods and sweet fizzy drinks. No...life isn’t over...you'll quickly adjust and begin to feel amazing! But always remember, if you’re on medication consult with your healthcare pro before you go wild at the supermarket.
Should I See A Chiro For Elbow Pain?
There you have it, a few great suggestions to help heal those niggly elbow conditions at home. But remember folks, it's always wise to consult with a healthcare professional to ensure you're on the right track to recovery. Especially if you’ve been trying these at-home tips and you’re not getting anywhere.
To book a Telehealth or an in-clinic appointment with Dr Kez at Life Balance Adjustments, located in the Watsonia/Greensborough area Vic, so that Dr Kez can shake hands with your dodgy elbow and get the joints aligned to speed up your healing, click HERE
Stay strong and heal like the fabulous person you are!