The elbow is a very strong joint that is often taken for granted. Repetitive movements or specific trauma can disrupt the efficiency of the joint, which can lead to pain, decreased range of motion, and a loss of strength. Physical therapy helps to reverse that cycle and get you back to your favorite activities.
Common elbow conditions we treat
Elbow bursitis, also called "study elbow" occurs in the olecranon bursa; a thin, fluid filled sac that is located at the boney tip of the elbow (the olecranon.) Onset is usually caused by repeated pressure to this boney structure (such as by a student resting their head on their hand), a fall, or through a sudden impact to the elbow. Symptoms will include swelling, pain with elbow extension or flexion, and redness of the area. Physical therapy can decrease inflammation, increase range of motion and potentially prevent the need for surgery.
Ligament tears (Thrower's elbow)
The ulnar collateral ligament lies on the inside of the elbow and helps support overhead movements such as throwing. These ligament tears are common in baseball pitchers, swimmers, and tennis players. Pain on the inside of the elbow after a heavy period of throwing or overhead activity, numbness and tingling in the pinky and ring fingers, weakness in grip strength, and stiffness of the elbow are all common symptoms of a UCL tear.
Golfer's elbow/Tennis elbow
Golfer's Elbow, or Medial Epicondylitis, affects the inside of the elbow and is caused by repetitive wrist flexion. Pain may also affect the forearm and wrist. Tennis Elbow, or Lateral Epicondylitis, affects the outside of the elbow, and is caused by repetitive wrist extension. It presents with pain that radiates along the outer edge of the forearm, and weakness with grip. These injuries occur most commonly in activities that involve repetitive motions, and without regaining strength and stability, can worsen over time.
An Olecranon fracture is the break of the bony "tip" of the elbow due to a fall or blunt trauma. A snap or pop may be felt or heard, followed by pain, bruising around the elbow, and numbness in the fingers. There may also be visible deformity indicating that the bones are out of place, or the elbow joint may be dislocated. After any initial splint duration or surgery, physical therapy can help increase strength and range of motion in the elbow.
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Knowing the details before scheduling an appointment helps us help you.