Educational Articles
< Back

Elbow Grease

Tags: | Published on: June 18, 2015

Welcome to Summer time everyone! One of the perks of summertime, along with BBQs, shorts & T-shirts, is that we get to be more physically active. For some, that means hitting the links for a round of 18 holes, or swinging around the tennis racket, but a surge of activity when unprepared can lead to an injury like Tennis Elbow or Golfer’s Elbow.

At the heart of it all, inflammation of the tendons or tendonitis is the culprit. When it’s on the outside of the elbow we nick name it Tennis elbow because of the commonality amongst tennis players. And when it’s on the inside of the elbow, we nick name it Golfer’s Elbow.

It’s actually very simple, most of these nagging pains, elbow or otherwise, are overuse injuries, whether it’s an abrupt increase in activity like a summer pick-up game, or repetitive motion over time. Essentially what happens is small microscopic tears in the tendon develop causing inflammation which creates scar tissue, causing more inflammation which can eventually lead to a larger tear in the tendon or muscle. So as you can see it’s a vicious cycle that can be painful and limiting.

Things to do after an injury: R.I.C.E

  • Rest: Avoid activity that aggravates the injury.
  • Ice: Ice immediately after the first sign of injury up to 72 hours.
  • Compression and Elevation: to reduce inflammation and swelling
  • After the acute phase (1-2 weeks) use heat to increase blood flow, and deep massage to the area in a clockwise and anti-clockwise motion.
  • A wrist splint to keep the wrist in a rested position may help prevent overuse and promote healing.

Things to do to prevent injury:

  • Stretch:

– Straighten the arm out fully and push the palm of the hand down so you feel the stretch on the top of the forearm. Hold each stretch 20-30 seconds.

– Straighten the arm out fully with palm side up and push the palm downward.

  • Strengthening program set by your physical therapist.

If these methods aren’t enough, consult your physical therapist for a comprehensive evaluation and treatment plan. Modalities such as Ultrasound, laser therapy, and custom splinting are extremely effective methods in resolving inflammation and pain.

To set up an appointment with a Physical Therapist today, Call your local Trinity Rehab.

Howell, Brick, Middletown (Red Bank), Matawan, East Brunswick