Elbow Pain

Elbow pain can develop with a sudden injury or often for no obvious reason. The pain can be worse at night time preventing you from sleeping and be constantly present as a dull background ache, usually in the outside of the elbow. It can also significantly affect daily activities because you use your elbow consistently throughout the day.

We know that the elbow joint is made up of a complex group of tendons, muscles, and joints that need to work in the correct biomechanical pattern or you can “over work” these structures causing ongoing pain.

The elbow joint requires a strong stable base to function. This base is provided by the shoulder. Pain, spasm and inflammation will develop if you keep using your elbow joint while it is injured. This in turn causes you to develop poor movement patterns. The muscles in your elbow joint become stiff and over worked. This creates a “muscle imbalance,” reinforcing poor movement patterns. Sometimes you can also develop shoulder and neck pain.

These poor elbow joint biomechanics will become a habit and you will be consistently in pain. If you keep this “bad habit” you will compress and over work the soft tissue (muscle and tendon) your pain will persist and will potentially get worse.

Treatment of your elbow pain will make you feel better. However, if you have the pain treated (massage, mobilization, medications, acupuncture) but do not correct your elbow’s biomechanics and strength deficits, you are only receiving a “temporary relief” from your pain, and it is likely that your pain will reoccur. This is only short-term relief, and not a long-term solution.

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