Elbow pain can have many causes.
Golfers elbow, tennis elbow are the common names for lateral and medial epicondylitis. Which is caused by irritation of the common flexor or extensor tendons of the forearm. This irritation is usually caused by the eccentric contraction which is the motion of an active muscle while it is lengthening under load.
What can you do for epicondylitis?
You can use braces. This is a temporary solution to your elbow pain. It does feel good to have this brace compressing your elbow. If you get some relief from using one of these braces, it is a great tool to use so that you are not aggravating the elbow. But it will not fix the problem.
Using Ice and heat can also be useful for reducing pain and inflammation in the elbow. The research suggests that the most benefit from both ice and heat is about 20 minutes. I suggest alternating between ice and heat. Use an ice cube or freezing water in a small paper cup and use that to massage the elbow using it until it it nice and numb, then use a hot pack or heating pad to heat the elbow up. What does this do to the elbow? The ice constricts the blood vessels and causes some tightening of muscles, pushing inflammation out into the bloodstream and then the heat dilates the blood vessels and moves the inflammation away from the elbow.
Muscle work is also useful when addressing elbow pain. Because muscles are the ones doing the work, they can also be the ones causing the problem. Working on them only makes sense. Using self-massage, instrument-assisted massage, and massage therapy to reduce pain and prepare the soft tissues to be able to work and strengthen the areas that need to be stronger.
Using a FlexBar to strengthen the muscles in the forearm is going to help fix the problem so that this does not become a chronic issue. The exercise is fairly simple: 1. Hold Flexbar in the involved (hurt) hand maximum wrist extension. 2. Grab the other end of the FlexBar with the Uninvolved hand (uninjured) hand. 3. Twist Bar with non-involved wrist while holding the involved wrist in extension. 4. Bring arms in front of the body with elbows in extension while maintaining the twist. 5. Slowly allow Flex bar to untwist by allowing involved wrist to move into flexion.
What else is there that can help?
Deep tissue laser therapy can help reduce the inflammation in the elbow and reduce the pain. This is safer than taking NSAIDs and it is able to focus the anti-inflammation benefits on the elbow more than taking the NSAIDs which once in the system are all over the body. Deep tissue laser works by stimulating the mitochondria of the cell to increase ATP production and bringing heat deep into the body more than the use of a hot pack or heating pad.
If you have any questions about lateral or medial epicondylitis please contact us at Vector Spine and Sport. We are located in the Old Farm Professional Plaza in Millcreek Utah.