The elbow can flex and extend, as well as pronate and supinate the forearm. However, it is also critical in the function of the wrist and hand.
16 muscles cross the elbow joint, with many of them being the prime movers of your hand, fingers and wrist. A majority of the muscles that flex (bend) your wrist actually originate on the medial (middle side) side of your elbow joint. With overuse or misuse of these muscles, their tendinous origin point can become sore causing Golfer’s Elbow. While this condition is seen in the golfing population, is can occur in any person who performs grip dominant activities.
Similar to the wrist flexors, a majority of the muscles that extend (straighten) the wrist originate from the lateral (outside) side of your elbow joint.
These extensor muscles scare a common insertion point at the elbow called the “common extensor origin”, and overuse or misuse of these muscles can cause pain and irritation at this point. This is called Tennis Elbow. It is commonly seen in people who perform grip based sports or activities (like tennis), manual workers, or people who use vibrating machinery.
Will my Elbow Pain get better?
Yes, in the vast majority of cases your elbow pain is very treatable. In the rare cases of structural damage or a medical cause of your pain, referral to a specialist may be necessary, but your physiotherapist will be able to inform you if this is needed. A through and detailed examination by your physiotherapist will allow them to create a personalised treatment plan for you. Depending on the injury that you have sustained, it is likely that most injuries will recover within 12 weeks.
Do I need a scan for my elbow pain?
Most likely not. In the case of trauma to the elbow or arm, or where there are high levels of swelling present, a scan will be required to rule out any structural damage to the elbow bones or the elbow joint. However, most elbow injuries do not involve this level of trauma and scanning will not be required. Your physiotherapist will guide you on whether they feel a scan is required after completing a through assessment of your condition.