Medial And Lateral Epicondylitis Elbow Pain Sioux City
Medial and lateral epicondylitis can both occur on the same elbow at the same time. Both are overuse or chronic repetitive stress injuries. The wrist flexors are responsible for flexing the wrist, while the wrist extensors are responsible for extending the wrist and are involved with firmly gripping an object. Think of turning a door handle or shaking hands. These muscles are used with almost every hand and wrist movement.
When these muscles and tendons become overwhelmed, they start to develop small micro-injuries. These injuries commonly occur either where the muscle becomes tendon or where the tendon attaches onto the bone.
It is not uncommon for people to describe pain and stiffness that started months ago. The intensity of the tightness and pain increases for a few weeks and then starts to get better. Then the elbow pain is exacerbated during work or a home project. They feel their pain fluctuating. It could go days, improving a little bit at a time, before something aggravates the elbow pain once again.
When people develop either medial epicondylitis or lateral epicondylitis, they tend to overcompensate for it. For example, someone with medial epicondylitis starts to move their wrist, elbow, and shoulder differently to reduce the strain on the wrist flexor muscles. Eventually, this overwhelms the wrist extensors, wrist, or shoulder.
Mild, moderate, or severe elbow sprains respond very well to treatment. At home, we recommend ice, stretching, an elbow brace, and light exercises. In the office, treatment will utilize ice, heat, stretching, strengthening, electric therapy, ultrasound, cold laser, massage therapy, the Graston Technique, Active Release Technique (ART), or manual therapy.
The muscle therapies are all trying to decrease muscle spasms and hypertonicity in the wrist flexors and extensors. The Graston Technique and Active Release Technique are excellent therapies for decreasing muscle spasms and scar tissue that has developed in the muscles and tendons. The scar tissue or fascial adhesions are restricting normal muscle-sliding movements. This creates small micro-tears and regions with poor healing.
The body develops cheap patches of scar tissue around these zones as it tries to protect itself from your daily activities. However, the next day, your normal activities flare up the zones, and more scar tissue develops. Eventually, we have large patches of scar tissue throughout the affected muscles and tendons. With enough overuse activities, the scar tissue becomes a chronic source of pain and limitation.
The Graston Technique and Active Release Technique are excellent tools for breaking down the scar tissue and restoring normal muscle-sliding mechanics and movements. People respond very well to combinations of treatments involving exercises, stretches, massage therapy, the Graston Technique, and ART. Overall, we see great results with this combination treatment, and patients are very satisfied with it.
Both medial and lateral epicondylitis can be successfully treated, even if the elbow pain has been limiting your work, home, or recreational activities for months.