Articles Common Elbow Injuries

January 17, 2019

We have compiled a list of common elbow injuries. It is important to accurately diagnose and identify the cause of these injuries as this will direct treatment to ensure the best outcomes.

Common Elbow Injuries- Golfers Elbow (Medial Epicondyilitis)

People with Golfer’s Elbow typically experience pain on the inside of the elbow particularly with activities involving repetitive/prolonged gripping and bending of the wrist and fingers. This is an overuse condition affecting the main tendon on the inner side of the elbow. It normally develops gradually over a period of time but can also arise suddenly following direct impact over the tendon.

Common Elbow Injuries- Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondyilitis)

Conversely, people with Tennis elbow typically experience pain on the outside of the elbow with activities involving repetitive/prolonged gripping particularly when the hand is in a “palm down” position. Movements involving extension of the wrist and fingers may also bring on pain.  Much like Golfers elbow this is an over use condition, but affects the main tendon on the outer side of the elbow.

Common Elbow Injuries- Fractures

Elbow fractures are normally the result of sudden impact (i.e. falling onto the point of the elbow, landing onto an outstretched hand). Symptoms can include severe pain, swelling, deformity, loss of function, bony tenderness, finger numbness, weakness and joint instability.  Fractures involving the joint surfaces have more complications and can predispose people to early onset of arthritis.

Common Elbow Injuries- Cubital Tunnel 

This is the result of irritation of the ulnar nerve, more commonly referred to as the “funny bone”. People typically complain of pain on the inside of the elbow but also pain, numbness and/or weakness into the ring and little finger. This condition can arise gradually from repeated over use (i.e. leaning on the elbow, throwing) or suddenly following direct trauma. Similar symptoms can also arise from the neck, it is therefore important to be assessed thoroughly to locate the source of the symptoms.

Common Elbow Injuries- “Javelin Throwers Elbow” (Ulnar Collateral Ligament Injury)

Ligament injuries of the elbow are most commonly seen in athletic populations who engage in overhead activities (i.e. cricket, baseball, tennis, volley ball). The throwing motion places a lot of strain on the inner elbow ligament, people typically complain of pain during and after throwing activities and may also notice a lack of power/velocity when performing the action.

Please keep in mind the information provided is general in nature and should not be used as a substitute to consult your treating health professional. If you have any specific questions or require assistance with your individual treatment requirements please do not hesitate to contact My Family Physio Mona Vale, Sydney.

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