Elbow Disorder

Elbow Disorder


Tennis elbow is caused by either abrupt or subtle injury of the muscle and tendon area around the outside of the elbow. You don’t have to play tennis to get this, but the term came into use because it can be a significant problem for some tennis players. Pain slowly increases around the outside of the elbow and is worse when shaking hands or squeezing objects. (Examples include lifting, using tools, opening jars, or even handling simple utensils such as a toothbrush or knife and fork.)


Golfer’s elbow causes pain and inflammation in the tendons that connect the forearm to the inside of the elbow. It is usually caused by overusing the muscles in the forearm that allow you to grip, rotate your arm, and flex your wrist or any repetitive hand, wrist movement. Golfer’s elbow is similar to tennis elbow. It’s not limited to golfers, many tennis players and others who repeatedly use their wrists or clench their fingers also can develop it. Rest and appropriate treatment can get you back into the swing of things.

How can the physical therapist help?

Physical therapy offers several interventions to accelerate the healing process. The most effective interventions are articular mobilizations, active release techniques and exercises. When performing mobilization techniques, the Physical therapy can execute passive movements of the upper limb and use specific mobilizations to stretch the joint capsule and allow for a better quality of movement. The therapist can also prescribe different exercises meant to increase elbow movement, stretch the capsule, and increase the strength of the forearm. Other methods can be employed, such as the use of TENS or interferential current for pain management and neuro-proprioceptive taping to improve movement quality and reduce pain. In many cases, Physical therapy treatments are also combined with Acupuncture to help stretch muscle fibers and relieve pain. Combining these two methods increases the patient’s chances of having a speedy recovery.


Elbow fractures may result from a fall, a direct impact to the elbow, or a twisting injury to the arm. Sprains, strains or dislocations may occur at the same time as a fracture. X-rays are used to confirm if a fracture is present and if the bones are out of place.  These are the 3 main fractures :

Radial head and neck fractures: Pain is usually worse with forearm rotation (turning door knob)

Olecranon fractures: These fractures are usually displaced and require surgery.

Fractures of the distal humerus: These fractures occur commonly in children and in the elderly. Nerve and/or artery injuries can be associated with these