elbow pain

How Physiotherapy Can Help With Elbow Pain

Several disorders can be the cause of elbow pain. In some cases, it may be due to sports injuries or simply overuse. Many athletes like golfers, tennis players and pitchers often mention chronic elbow pain due to various disorders. These may include the following areas:

  • Tendons
  • Arm muscles
  • Bursae
  • Elbow ligaments
  • Bones in the arm

Ultimate Health Clinic will discuss the underlying cause of each disorder, which will dictate what treatment is prescribed.

What Types of Elbow Disorders Exist?

There are several general disorders of the elbow that are most often the cause of elbow pain. Each has its own list of causes and symptoms. Some disorders may share symptoms even when the causes differ.

Osteochondritis Dissecans

Panner’s disease is caused by pieces of bone or cartilage in the elbow joint becoming dislodged. This disorder is most commonly found in young males, and frequently due to a sports-related injury.

Ligament Sprains or Strains

Any ligament located in the joint of the elbow can fall victim to a sprain or a strain. Repeated stress or direct trauma can result in a sprained or strained ligament. Sometimes, a ligament can be partially torn, stretched or fully torn. Some patients have even noted the sound of popping while being injured.

Elbow Fracture or Dislocation

Serious elbow injuries can result in the elbow becoming dislocated or even fractured. If a person falls heavily on their elbow or arm while it’s outstretched, the full force of the impact can cause serious harm. Dislocation is traumatic but can be easily repaired since the bone is merely out of position. Fractures are much more painful and require a proper setting or even pins to ensure proper healing.

Medial Epicondylitis

This condition affects the elbows inner tendons. It’s frequently seen in golfers and baseball players and is caused by the repetitive motions. Both golfers and baseball players repeat the same motions countless times when they swing, which can trigger the disorder.

Lateral Epicondylitis

This condition affects the outer portion of the elbow. It is ordinarily detected in tennis players and other racquet sports. There are also several professions that mimic the same repetitive motion that results in “tennis elbow.”


Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disorder that affects the connective tissues in the joints. It is caused by normal wear and tear as well as through injuries to the elbow. Over time, the tissues will be worn down and become damaged by those who are suffering from osteoarthritis.

Olecranon Bursitis

Student’s elbow, draftsman’s elbow, and miner’s elbow are all common names for this disorder. With this ailment, the small sacs of fluid whose jobs it is to protect the joints are affected by bursitis. Olecranon bursitis is the specific disorder that affects the sacs in the sharp point of the elbow. Blunt force trauma to the elbow, infection, a pre-existing condition or simply chronic pressure on the area can trigger the ailment.

How Do Elbow Disorders get Diagnosed?

A physician can diagnose an elbow disorder through several methods. Scans such as:

  • CT scan
  • MRI scan
  • X-rays
  • Electromyography (EMG)

A doctor will also take your medical history and perform a physical examination to determine the cause and severity of the elbow disorder. In some cases, a biopsy of the bursa fluid may be required.

Treatment for Elbow Disorders

The cause and the severity of the disorder will determine which treatment options are best for your elbow disorder. Most disorders respond well to conservative treatment while others may require surgical correction. Your doctor may also suggest that you ice the area and rest to prevent further damage. For pain and swelling, NSAID’s may help. In some cases, even elbow padding or braces may be required.

Physiotherapy is a great way to help improve the strength of your elbow while also reducing the chances of the condition re-emerging. A skilled physiotherapist will be qualified to help those who have lost mobility to regain their range of motion. This is possible through a set of exercises tailored to your specific condition and body. For those looking to avoid taking pharmaceuticals, this is a suitable option, so call Ultimate Health Clinic today at 905-251-0162.

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