Elbow pain has a variety of causes, some obvious, some not so obvious. Studies have shown a frequent (not absolute) link between C2 – T7 vertebrae issues and elbow pain.
Nerves spread out from the spine from between each vertebra via a channel called a foramen.
Each carries instructions for specific areas of the body such as the arms. The nerves from between C5-C8 and T1 merge together into three larger nerves, forming a network of intersecting nerves brachial plexus. The brachial plexus controls the shoulder region, arms and hands via the Median, Ulnar and Radial Nerves.
This network has a long journey to and from the neck, across the chest, around the elbow, and finally into the hand. Along this pathway, nerve compression can happen at the spine or in another area due to an injury.
The foramen’s decreased space may damage the nerve root, which is interpreted as pain, tingling, burning, or numbness. This condition is called Radiculopathy.
Contemporary lifestyles involve long phases of sitting and the huge change in social deportment attitude has led to poor posture. This can cause the pulling of the chest and shoulders structures forward, thus compressing neck nerves and the brachial plexus – Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.
If the Ulnar Nerve in the arm is trapped in the elbow area, it becomes very inflamed and painful. Pain is also caused by tendonitis such as that experienced in tennis or golfers elbow.
Another painful condition, Bursitis, affects small, fluid-filled sacs that perform cushioning and friction reduction of your bones, tendons and muscles near joints. If left untreated, the sacs will thicken, causing long term complications.
A sprain or strain of the elbow-related muscles or tendons can result in fraying or tearing of the tissue which has mild to extreme pain.
Ongoing strain and high-intensity prolonged use can lead to conditions such as arthritis. Genetics play a big role in this, as well. Unfortunately, this brings about the joint’s degeneration via rough, pitted surfaces on the cartilage or thickening of the bone. Both reduce mobility and increase pain. The earlier and more frequently you treat it, the slower it’s progression is.
How Can Treatment Help My Elbow?
An evaluation of whether the nerve is involved is the first step. Skeletal adjustments treat pain that travels to the elbow. Pressure reduction on any nerves will improve muscle function, strength, and tone, making your arm feel a whole lot better!
Myofascial release of the elbow joint, and strengthening of supporting muscles are very effective in treating elbow pain.
For example, the tennis elbow solution could be one of or a combination of high-velocity, low-amplitude manipulation, exercise, galvanic stimulation, a temporary brace, ice/heat therapy at home, rest from everyday use and physical therapy. The full combination of these has proven to be very successful, even in challenging cases.
Call today to be pain-free Contact Paramount Health’s amazing chiropractors in Lane Cove if your elbow is struggling. We have your treatment waiting!