I think we have all noticed that when we spend too much time on our phones, computers, and tablets that our forearms and wrist seem to ache a bit or at the very least feel really tight. Add in our recreational activities such as golf, weight lifting, crossfit, tennis, rock climbing etc. it becomes apparent that we need focus on our arm health!
Take a second and run your thumb up your forearm muscles. Find some tight and tender trigger points along the way? Or, maybe you are worried that your wrist or elbow pain is something more severe.
Lateral epicondylopathy, also known as tennis elbow, is pain found on the outside of your elbow and typically arises from overuse. Carpenters, seamstresses, tailors, drummers and desk jockies, cell phone junkies (basically all of us) can fall into having tennis elbow. Repetitive wrist extension is the common link of all these activities.
Golfers, bowlers, weightlifters, and throwers are more prone to medial epicondylopathy, also known as golfer’s elbow. In these situations repetitive flexion is the common link leading to pain on the inside of the elbow.
So we have established that we do a lot with our hands, wrist and forearms that can cause us pain and discomfort. Let’s talk about treatment and prevention.
Historically these conditions were seen as an acute inflammatory condition and were treated with anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen. Rest was also prescribed since the pain was caused by overuse. Current research states NEITHER of these treatments are the best route for decreasing pain and improving function.
Therapeutic exercise has been proven as an effective treatment for these issues as well as achilles tendinosis, shoulder impingements, knee issues, carpal tunnel etc. We have talked about how important exercise is for overall health and it remains true to form in improving our everyday activities to help us be pain free.
Using therapeutic exercise is one of our keys to helping our patients improve long term and lessen their need to see us. You read that right, we want our patients to not need us!
If your elbows and wrists are feeling a little off or they just downright hurt don’t think you need to just rest. Let us help you improve your dysfunction and keep you in the gym improving your health!
Jeric Toney D.C.