The elbow – a body part most people don’t pay too much attention to until it’s hurt and they feel the pain all the time. You may have heard of painful conditions called tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow, but did you know that they don’t have much to do with the sports they’re named after?
That’s right; you don’t need to be a tennis champion or a golf legend to experience painful swelling in your elbow, limiting not only your arm’s ability to move comfortably, but the ability to do much at all!
These injuries happen when you overuse certain muscles in your forearm. This results in swelling on the inside or outside of your elbow. These conditions are technically known as epicondylitis, which references the painful swelling of the tendons surrounding the “knuckle” part of your elbow.
Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis is used to describe the inflammation of the outer part of the elbow and forearm. The muscles in your forehand and backhand can be overused after working in the same repetitive motion all day long, and can result in this sort of inflammation. You’ll recognize tennis elbow through pain when reaching for something, lifting or even simply holding objects.
Golfer’s elbow, or medial epicondylitis, refers to the inflammation of the inner part of your elbow, and often results from any repetitive twisting of the arm or flexing of your wrist. You’ll notice pain when you twist your forearm from side to side or when you try to make a fist. The area may also be swollen and tender to the touch.
You don’t have to be an athletic person to suffer from epicondylitis. According to WebMD, 1% to 3% of the population overall suffers from this condition, and less than 5% of the diagnosed cases are actually a result of the sport they’re named for1.
A great treatment option for tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow is through bracing. A brace, when fit properly by a professional, will allow the area to rest while still be able to perform your daily tasks. It will help to reduce the swelling and pain much faster than if you tried to limit the use of your elbow on your own.
There are many different bracing options, and it comes down to choosing one that’s right for you and your injury. It’s important to have a wide selection of braces to choose from because they don’t all fit the same. Remember though, a brace is only 1 piece of the puzzle. Don’t forget to ice, stretch and massage.
Kinetic Konnection has been experts in bracing for over 20 years. Our staff of Kinesiology graduates are available and happy to offer expert advice on stretching, icing and for all of your bracing inquires.
Contact us for more information or come into any of our 6 locations to speak with someone about your bracing needs today!
1 Source: WebMD: Osteoarthritis Health Centre – Tennis Elbow (2005-2016)