Elbow

What are the parts of the elbow?

The elbow joint, formed by the humerus, radius, and ulna, acts as a synovial hinge joint enabling extension and flexion motions. Tendons connect arm muscles to the bones, generating movement. Ligaments offer stability, and a fibrous membrane encapsulates the joint with synovial fluid for lubrication. Bursa sacs within the joint provide additional padding between the bones.

What are common elbow injuries?

Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) and golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis) are painful conditions caused by tendon overloading due to repetitive wrist and arm motions. Contrary to the names, these injuries can result from various activities involving gripping with a bent elbow, not just tennis or golf. Nowadays, computer-related work can contribute to these conditions. Poor technique or excessive effort in sports, as well as certain job motions (e.g., plumbing, painting, landscaping), can lead to inflammation and pain in the elbow tendons.

Signs and symptoms of epicondylitis​

Tennis elbow causes pain primarily at the outside of the elbow, where forearm tendons attach. Pain may extend into the forearm and wrist, particularly when moving, gripping, or lifting objects. Decreased hand and finger strength, along with muscle tension and a ‘pins and needles’ sensation, are common. Diagnosis by a doctor involves a physical examination, testing wrist extension and elbow rotation against resistance, with increased pain indicating tennis elbow.

Preventing and treating elbow injuries:

Preventing and treating elbow injuries involves incorporating proper warm-up routines, strengthening exercises, and technique improvements. Regular breaks, ergonomic workspaces, and the use of suitable equipment are crucial for minimizing strain. Avoiding overexertion, incorporating cool-down routines, and maintaining a balanced diet contribute to overall elbow health. Swift medical attention for any discomfort is essential, and adherence to prescribed rehabilitation plans is key for effective prevention and treatment.

What is elbow bursitis?

Elbow bursitis, inflammation of the olecranon bursa at the elbow tip, causes pain and discomfort due to trauma, prolonged pressure, or infection. Non-surgical treatments involve antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medications, and, if necessary, fluid aspiration. Using elbow supports or pads can help alleviate symptoms.

What bracing is used to treat elbow injuries?

Many doctors initially recommend elbow supports such as Epicomed® from medi® for the irritated tendons. The compressive knit of these supports reduces pressure and supports the affected forearm musculature. This relieves tension on the tendons. Today, these devices are small and light and can be worn during the day under clothing without any problem. They contribute to the treatment of tennis elbow and are thus perfect allies for all epicondylitis patients.

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