Elbow joint has static bony structure, and able to fulfil precise and skilful target with delicate muscle groups.
Elbow Joint Basic Anatomy
The elbow joints are formed by three bone: Humerus, Radius and Ulnar, articulate and form four joints: Superior Radio-ulnar Joint, Inferior Radio-ulnar Joint, Humeroulnar Joint and Humeroradial Joint. The elbow joints are further reinforced by joint capsule, ulnar collateral ligament and lateral collateral ligament.
There are 23 muscles in the elbow region, and it can be divided into four groups, including Elbow Flexor, Elbow Extensor, Flexor-pronator and Extensor-supinator. These muscle groups provide elbow with dynamic stabilising but at the same time facilitate forearm ability to fulfil skilful and precise mission.
Common Elbow Pain Reasons
Elbow pain can be caused by traumatic and overuse conditions. Elbow joint is relatively lesser wear and tear condition than other joint in the body. Soft tissue is prone to repetitive strain injuries. Here are several conditions common seen in the elbow causing pain.
- Tennis Elbow
- Golfer Elbow
- Olecranon Bursitis
- Ligament Sprain or Strain
Tennis elbow is the tendinopathy of extensor group over lateral epicondyle. It is originally named as "Medial Epicondylitis" in the literature. Extensor carpi radialis brevis (ECRB) is common soft tissue involved in the condition. ECRB would come across inflammation in acute stage, and it usually able to recover with proper resting. However, if the repetitive strain is still keeping, the tendon would then keep irritation and cause tendon degeneration. Tendinosis is therefore named, according to the histology found over the ECRB tendon.
Patient should rest their forearm and hand. No power grip is allowed in acute stage, and patient should not lifting heavy weight as it would encourage the synergistic contraction of forearm muscle.
How Traditional Chinese Medicine and Physiotherapy Help?
Modify the way of working, decrease the loading over elbow joint.
Acupuncture and Dry Needling
Pain relief and promote circulation to the affected area.
Release muscle and promote circulation.
Massage and Manual Therapy
Release muscle tightness, re-align joint and improve joint range of motion.
Traditional Chinese Medicine
Improve body energy level, and promote balance of health.
Improve forearm muscle balance, promote injuried soft tissue healing.
Generally, treatment is based on the stage of patient's condition. For example, aims of treatment in acute stage include pain and inflammation control. While conditions progress into subacute and chronic stage, target would change to swelling subside, recovery of function, and back to premorbid stages.