Experiencing pain in your elbow when you try to pick something up can disrupt your daily routine and interfere with both your work and leisure activities. This type of elbow pain, often severe enough to be a real nuisance, can be commonly diagnosed as tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow—conditions linked to repetitive strain injuries of the forearm muscles. In this blog, we delve into these conditions, exploring their causes, symptoms, and the effective treatment options available through osteopathy. Whether you're an athlete or simply find yourself engaging in repetitive arm movements, understanding these conditions can help you seek the right treatment and prevent future pain.

Q) My elbow hurts every time I pick something up?

A) Pain in your elbow can be very debilitating and really frustrating! It can affect your work and your hobbies and generally get in the way and stop you doing what you want or need to do in life. Luckily, there is help for this and we as osteopaths treat a lot of elbow pain, the most common being caused by tennis elbow.  This is a repetitive strain injury of the forearm muscles which causes pain at the elbow where these muscles attach.  Not quite as common, but just as debilitating, is golfer’s elbow which is again a repetitive strain injury but on the other side of the elbow.  If you hold your palm face upwards and look at your elbow, tennis elbow is on the outside of the arm and golfer’s elbow is on the inside.  Golfer’s elbow has a complication that can occur with it unfortunately which is an irritation of the nerve at the elbow as well as pain and this can lead to pain, numbness or pins and needles in the arm and hand.

Q) Can Tennis and Golfer’s Elbow Be Treated?

A) Our treatment of these conditions involves soft tissue techniques of the forearm muscles to take away the tension and strains that these shortened and overworked muscles are causing at the elbow. We also use articulation techniques on the hand, wrist, forearm and shoulder to ensure that these structures are working properly and not causing any strain on the elbow muscles.  Poor mechanics of local areas such as these could actually not only be exacerbating the problem, they could be the underlying cause of the issue themselves.  Take home stretches and exercises will also be given to aid the healing process and to help avoid the problem reoccurring.

P.S.  You don’t have to play tennis or golf to end up with this problem!!  Any repetitive movement of the wrist/forearm can cause this, such as painting, cleaning, DIY or gardening.

Elbow pain from conditions like tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow doesn't have to keep you from enjoying your daily activities or hobbies. Through specialized osteopathic treatments, including soft tissue techniques and joint articulation, relief is not only possible but expected. Additionally, by following tailored stretches and exercises provided by your osteopath, you can aid the healing process and prevent the recurrence of these frustrating conditions. Remember, it’s not just athletes who are affected—anyone engaging in repetitive wrist or forearm movements is at risk. So, take action to understand and treat these common elbow issues and regain your comfort and mobility.