Have you ever accidentally struck your elbow on something and felt those not-so-funny rippling sensations caused by hitting your “funny bone”? It’s not exactly funny, and, well, elbow pain in any form is no joke. Unlike striking the funny bone, some common elbow injuries develop over time from overuse or acute injury, but luckily chiropractic adjustments are excellent at treating and correcting this discomfort to get you and your arm back to health and proper functioning.
Golfer’s elbow is basically pain on the inside of the elbow. Also known as “thrower’s elbow” or medically as “medial epicondylitis,” it is a condition in which pain is felt where the tendons of the forearm muscles attach to the bony bump inside the elbow as well as throughout the forearm and wrist.
The symptoms of golfer’s elbow are like those of “tennis elbow,” which is simply on the outside of the elbow instead, and include stiffness and difficulty making a fist, weakness in the hands and wrists, numbness or tingling reaching as far as the fingers, and pain and tenderness on the inner elbow that worsens with certain movements.
Not limited to those who golf despite the name, golfer’s elbow most often occurs in people who repeatedly use their wrists or clench their fingers. As such, it usually develops gradually from excessive or repeated stress or use—particularly with forceful wrist and finger motions. It is common in athletes involved in throwing sports because the typical motions cause damage to muscles and tendons that control the wrist and fingers. Commonly the lack of a proper warmup or poor conditioning greatly contributes to the condition.
That being said, golfer’s elbow is common in people who play racket sports (using improper technique or a wrongly sized or weighted racket), play throwing sports (like baseball, football, archery, or javelin with improper pitching or throwing techniques), engage in weight training (gripping or lifting with an improper wrist-curling technique), and forceful or repetitive occupational or hobby-based movements (generally in fields like product assembly, construction, plumbing, and carpentry). Many of these include “improper technique” as a main factor for the pain, but it generally needs to be done for more than an hour a day for many days. Repetitive stress also can result in swelling and nerve compression or entrapment.
Although injuries sometimes are unavoidable, people can prevent golfer’s elbow in several ways. You can strengthen your forearm muscles with light weights and hand-squeezing exercises. You can stretch before activities that use the arms. You can learn and use proper form or techniques that prevent overloading muscles. You can use proper equipment (such as lighter golf clubs or a properly sized tennis racket). You can keep wrists stable when lifting weights, and you need to know when to rest to prevent overexertion.
One of the best treatments for this kind of elbow pain is chiropractic.
“One of the key aspects of elbow pain is to realize that your elbow joint is part of a chain of movement,” explains Dr. Rick Gross of Quality Care Chiropractic. “Your neck, shoulder, elbow, and wrist all work directly together. If your elbow is injured, the other areas must be evaluated and adjusted properly to truly fix your elbow.”
Dr. Gross adds, “The elbow is the last joint to fix in that chain, meaning that it is a follower, not a decision maker, in how your arm moves. Sometimes we can adjust the neck, shoulder, and wrist, and that fixes the elbow problems without even touching it.”
“Specific, gentle adjustments to all those related areas are critical for the proper treatment of golfer’s elbow. We also use MLS Laser and physical therapy methods to reduce pain and inflammation and restore strength and flexibility to the area.”
If you have elbow pain, chiropractic treatments on all your arm joints might be what you need, so contact us at Quality Care Chiropractic in Aurora, IL, at (630) 499-2225 to learn how we can help bring you back to whole health.Schedule an Appointment