I often hear, “I only thought you treated backs”. A common misconception. Osteopaths treat musculoskeletal problems from head to toe. That is problems that relate to the joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons and fascia directly. Often we are also working on the nerves and blood vessels in relation to where these structures pass, and how we can effect their function.
Today I’m going to highlight a fairly common issue I see, but one you may not expect? Golfer’s and tennis elbow. Misleadingly named as these are not the only activities that might cause this. They are a form of repetitive strain injury. Their official names are medial (golfer’s) epicondylitis, and lateral (tennis) epicondylitis. Logically named as they are an irritation of the muscles that attach on the structure called the epicondyle at your elbow.
They can be caused by repetitive elbow or wrist activities. Also gripping and lifting repetitively. Occupations requiring the use of vibrating machinery may create these issues.
The pain may just be at the elbow, but sometimes above and below. If nerves and blood vessels are compressed additional tingling and/or pins and needles symptoms may occur.
The objective of treatment is to calm down the local source of inflammation and work into the effected structures that lead up to and attach to the elbow. Sometimes working on the spine and shoulder can help if someone has had to adapt their body position. This may either be one of the issues that has caused the problem, or may be a result of the pain.