Elbow Pain and Massage Therapy
What Causes Elbow Pain?
Tennis elbow or Golfer’s elbow is a pain that often occurs in the outer or the inner bone of the elbow. The damaged part in tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow however, is not the elbow bone itself, but rather a tendon or tissue that connects the bone structures of forearm and upper arm. This tendon called the common extensor tendon is responsible for carrying out complicated and delicate motions of wrists, hands or the forearm. And, damage to the common extensor tendon produces pain in the outer bone of the elbow called the lateral epicondyle. That is the reason tennis elbow is also called lateral Epicondylitis. Golfer’s elbow, on the other hand, is the pain in the inner side of the elbow bone.
Tennis elbow pain is quite simply, an overuse, overloads injury, and is usually caused by repeated movements that require twisting of the wrists, hands or the forearm. Though anyone can get tennis elbow injury, the age group most affected is usually between 35 to 55. A severe case of tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow may take months to recover while a mild case will take only a couple of weeks.
Tendonitis simply means inflammation of a tendon. In the case of elbow tendonitis, the area around the elbow becomes inflamed. Again, this can also be referred to as Tennis Elbow or Golfer’s Elbow, typically acquired from years of overuse and abuse of the arms. When tendons become overused, they get inflamed, and you end up with elbow pain.
Tendonitis symptoms range from an ache around the tendon, to a more severe burning and swelling that surrounds the whole elbow joint. The tendonitis pain is typically worse during and after activity and often shows up in the following symptoms:
- Pain and tenderness in the forearm, especially outside of the elbow (Tennis elbow) and inside of the elbow (Golfer’s elbow);
- Pain and stiffness of muscles in the forearm, upper arm, shoulder or neck;
- Constant pain in elbow;
- Pain in simple movements such as moving door handles;
- Stiffness of arm in the mornings.
If you have severe pain in your elbow, arm or shoulder, please contact your therapist. In case of mild elbow pain, follow an informed recovery program.
Treatment of Elbow Tendonitis
Early treatment intervention of elbow tendonitis (or tennis elbow) will help prevent the development of further damage to the tendon. The first rule of thumb is to cease all activity that causes the elbow pain. In Vancouver, at Everest Therapeutics, you will find Registered Massage Therapists (RMT) who are trained in the treatment of tendonitis. They can help restore your level of functioning and assist you in the proper use of therapies to reduce the inflammation. Your RMT will also teach you about proper stretching and strengthening exercises, and pain mitigating procedures to get you back to normal functioning, including:
- Ice Therapy
The most effective treatment for tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow pain is to ice it. Use an ice pack or a bag of frozen peas to apply on the effected area for 20 minutes at a time, at least six times a day, for two days. Remove ice if there is any agitation in the affected area, apply for as long as comfortable, and repeat as often as needed.
- Activity Modification
Both tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow injuries occur due to overload or overuse of wrist, hand or forearm, and so activity modification is a crucial component of recovery. Change the activity that caused the injury, or modify it. In case of severe pain, discontinue related activity and apply tennis elbow treatments to begin the recovery process.
- Massage therapy
We know that massage therapy is a highly effective treatment for tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow. Special massage therapy techniques allow tendons, tissue and muscles in the hand, wrist, forearm, upper arm, shoulder and neck, to become flexible, cleansed, lengthened and strong. Massage therapy is a wonderful, tennis and golfer elbow injury prevention, as well as treatment therapy program.
Elbow Pain Prevention
Use this simple checklist to keep wrists, hands, elbow and shoulders in top shape:
- Allocate more time for warming up and warming down
- Add exercises to loosen elbow, wrist, hand, shoulder and neck muscles
- Modify activities that cause tennis elbow and golfer elbow pain or injury
- Assure sufficient recovery time after injury
Tendonitis and Tennis Elbow massage therapy is a very specialized therapy to reduce pain and alleviate overuse injuries. This massage treatment we use in our Vancouver therapeutic clinic is one of the most effective techniques in the treatment of tennis elbow. To book an appointment with an Everest Therapeutics Inc. RMT click here.