What is this ?
To better understand what’s going on, here’s a little bit of elbow anatomy. The muscles of the forearm allow you, among other things, to move your fingers and wrist in order to adapt to your positioning during the day. The muscles that attach to the outside of the elbow are the wrist and finger extensors, while those that attach to the inside are flexors.
Who could be affected?
- For lateral epicondyliopathy (tennis elbow): affects 1-3% of the population, especially between 35-50 years old. This injury is mainly related to work with activities requiring wrist movements in extension, pronation and supination.
- For medial epicondyliopathy (golfer’s elbow): is less present (9-20% of all epicondyliopathy) and is more common in the same age group as tennis elbow. It is often seen during repetitive movements related to sports such as baseball or manual labor such as plumbers, mechanics, construction.
What does it look like ?
Injuries found at the elbows are more often mechanical overload injuries than traumatic injuries. Indeed, inadequate quantification of the effort required of your muscles could generate this type of problem. (e.g.: Repetition of a particular type of movement, an increase in the training load too quickly (volume or force)).
Diagnoses of medial or lateral epicondylopathy at the elbow are the result of irritation of the tendons by which the forearm muscles attach to the elbow. In such a situation, muscle contraction and stretching of this muscle group will be painful.
How can physiotherapy help?
Being injured does not mean that we have to stop everything, but rather adapt our training temporarily. We are talking here about quantification of mechanical stress. Indeed, our body needs “mechanical stress” to readapt, which means a certain level of effort. This level of “mechanical stress” is unique to each person and to the stage of the injury. So both in the exercises and in the practice of the sport itself it will be necessary to be able to find the level of effort which does not reproduce too many symptoms and which subsequently decreases with rest.
When such elbow pain occurs, what should be done? In order to identify the exact cause of your problem, a physiotherapy evaluation is recommended. in this way the physiotherapist will be able to establish an adapted treatment plan based on the different problems found as well as your objectives. If you have any questions related to the management of this type of injury, do not hesitate to consult one of our physiotherapists.