Elbow pain is a common problem for many athletes and everyday individuals alike. The issues that cause elbow pain are often very debilitating, and many of them can take months or longer to fully heal.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the issue of elbow pain and demonstrate how chiropractic care can be a great treatment option for many of the underlying causes that lead to pain in the elbow.
What are the Main Causes of Elbow Pain?
Elbow pain isn’t usually sufficient as a diagnosis all on its own. Rather, we need to establish the underlying cause of the elbow pain. Once we do this, we can resolve the painful symptoms and develop a plan to avoid the same issue occurring again in the future. Below, we’ll review some of the most common causes of elbow pain.
Lateral epicondylitis, or tennis elbow, is a condition that affects the outside portion of the elbow. This issue, as one might expect, is commonly seen in tennis players due to the stress caused by the backhand stroke.
However, this ailment is not restricted to tennis players. Anyone can suffer from tennis elbow due to overuse or misuse of their hand, forearm, and/or elbow.
In the previous section, we described tennis elbow, a condition affecting the outside portion of the elbow. Much of the same information outlined above applies to golfer’s elbow, or medial epicondylitis as well. However, this problem causes symptoms on the inside part of the elbow, the area commonly stressed during a golf swing.
Besides the location of the injury, one of the other major differences between golfer’s elbow and tennis elbow is that golfer’s elbow often lingers around for a much longer time.
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
You’re probably familiar with carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that affects the median nerve as it passes under a band of tissue near the wrist. Similarly, cubital tunnel syndrome is an issue in which the ulnar nerve is trapped by a band of tissue near the elbow.
This condition causes numbness, tingling, and pain from the elbow down to the “pinky side” of the hand.
Treatments for Elbow Pain
Depending on what’s causing your elbow pain, the treatment options may vary slightly. That being said, most cases of elbow pain will involve some element of stretching tight tissues in the area, strengthening weak muscles in the area, and generally reducing the tension and inflammation around the elbow.
By keeping these areas strong and mobile, you will often be able to reduce the pain that has caused the issue, at least for a short while. This can be done through a combination of strengthening exercises, stretching exercises, and massage. Specifically, eccentric strengthening exercises and stretches in all directions work well for golfer’s elbow and tennis elbow.
Furthermore, nerve injuries can often be treated with light, specific massage in the areas restricting the nerve in question. However, a key element that is often missing in treatment plans for elbow pain is chiropractic care.
Chiropractic Care and Elbow Pain
Your chiropractor can help significantly with your elbow pain, regardless of the underlying condition that has led to the pain in question. By adjusting specific parts of your spine, your chiropractor can reestablish connections between the structures of the elbow and the central nervous system.
In turn, this connection can lead to lower levels of pain, decreased inflammation, and overall healing of the injury.