Elbow Pain

This is Dana Ranahan of Body Works Sports Physiotherapy in North Vancouver and I’m here today with a patient to look at elbow pain.  Elaine here is a competitive tennis player and has been having trouble with her elbow so I want to talk a little bit about types of elbow pain we see and how we would look at it.  So commonly with the elbow we would see pain usually on the outside of the elbow is common where people would get tennis elbow or sometimes on the inside of the elbow they would get pain usually I call that golfers elbow but they’re not necessarily synchronous with those sports, that’s just the sort of names that we’re used to.

So all we would look with this, Elaine’s got more pain here with her forehand in tennis so one thing we would look at is her mobility through her whole shoulder and upper back as well as her elbow motion and first off looking at how her elbow moves and kind of the angle of movement.  The elbow is quite a complex joint so it has combinations of movement that we need to ensure the elbow can move well through its full range of motion because if there’s some restriction in range of motion it ends up creating tension for example if the elbow’s really tight on the outside it can pull the arm away and create more stress on the inside of the elbow.  So for Elaine we would look at doing these motions and we’ve just done some work to help loosen things up for Elaine and to determine, one where is she tight, where do things not move and then we would do some other specific palpations to determine where her tender points are and testing some little muscles.  The muscles that are in the forearm generally help to move the wrist and the forearm into twisting or wrist movements so we would do some tests like this to determine where the pain is and then we would mobilize to help her joint move a little freer and give her some exercises so that she can work on home to maintain it.

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