Posts for tag: arm
It’s difficult to enjoy your golf game when the pain in your elbow is a constant companion. Golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis) not only affects golfers, it can be a problem for anyone who uses their forearms for jobs or sports involving repetitive activity, such as hammering, gardening, shoveling, bowling and swimming. Overuse can strain the tendons that connect the inner elbow to the forearm, leading to pain, weakness and inflammation (tendonitis). Golfer’s elbow is different from tennis elbow, a condition in which the tendons on the outside of the elbow become inflamed.
Physical therapists who treat golfers agree that one of the most common causes of golfer’s elbow (at least for golfers) is what’s called the “chicken wing” swing. This is when the golfer draws his or her arms in toward the body just as the club hits the ball. This pulling in of the arms against the centrifugal force being exerted by the club puts strain on the muscles and tendons of the forearm. This can be caused by being improperly aligned with the ball, or can also be due to a limited range of motion in the shoulder joint.
Another problem with a golfer’s swing that can lead to golfer’s elbow is if the arm hyperextends during follow-through (usually by striking down on the ball rather than swinging up and through), which can cause the tendons to stretch beyond their capacity, creating small tears in the flexor tendons inside the elbow.
There are a number of treatment options available for golfer’s elbow, most of which are simple and non-invasive. First, rest the elbow as much as possible. Though this may require you to put your golf game aside for a few weeks, it will be worth it, as continuing to put wear and tear on damaged tendons will only exacerbate the situation and cause a buildup of scar tissue in the tendon, which will weaken it and make it less flexible.
You can apply an ice pack wrapped in a damp towel for 10 or 15 minutes every couple of hours to help reduce inflammation and relieve pain. Keeping the arm compressed with an elastic bandage and elevated when possible will also help with this.
The best way to prevent golfer’s elbow is to stretch and strengthen the forearms regularly, particularly before a game. Circling your wrists and bending your hands in towards your elbow and out again will help gently stretch the muscles and tendons. Chiropractic care can also be useful both for treatment and prevention. Your chiropractor can recommend specific exercises to stretch and strengthen the elbow and can use chiropractic manipulation to increase range of motion in the shoulder and at the wrist and elbow that may be contributing to the condition.
In rare cases, if these other therapies have not relieved the problem after six months of treatment, surgery may be necessary to remove part of damaged tendon, but most cases are successfully healed in a few weeks with proper care.
The wrist is the name usually given to the eight carpal bones (the lunate, scaphoid, triquetrum, pisiform, trapezium, capitate, hamate and trapezoid carpals) that form the part of the hand closest to the forearm, and the joints that they form with each other and the bones of the forearm and hand. The radiocarpal joint connects the hand to the forearm and involves the distal end (furthest from the body) of the radius, the articular disc and eight bones of the wrist itself. The scaphoid, lunate, pisiform and triquetrum carpals articulate (connect) directly with the radius, whereas the other carpal bones are slightly more distal to (further from) the wrist joint. The proximal (closest to the body) parts of the five metacarpals are often included as anatomical components of the wrist.
As we all know from experience, a wide range of movement is possible at the wrist, and the radiocarpal joint allows for flexion (bending) extension (straightening), some hyperextension (bending back) abduction (movement away from the body) adduction (movement towards the body) and circumduction (circular movement of the hand from the wrist).
Although the ulna is larger than the radius, it tapers towards the wrist and becomes narrower. Here, at the end of the forearm, the head of the radius connects with the radial notch of the ulna to form the radioulnar joint. This is separated from the radiocarpal joint by the articular disc and allows for supination and pronation movements of the hand (rotating the palm of the hand to face-up and face-down positions respectively). Both the radiocarpal and radioulnar joints are synovial joints, the radiocarpal being a condyloid (or ellipsoid) joint whereas the radioulnar is a pivot joint.
The midcarpal joint occurs between the carpals most proximal to the wrist and those more distal. Between the carpal bones in each row (proximal or distal) are a series of intercarpal joints. These are a combination of synovial planar (sliding) and saddle joints, which allow a degree of movement in the lower hand, including flexion (bending toward the palm) and extension (straightening toward the back of the hand).
Each bone of the wrist is connected to its neighbors by one or more ligaments. Since there are a total of fifteen bones comprising the various wrist joints (the radius, ulna, eight carpals and five metacarpals), this gives rise to a complex arrangement of wrist ligaments. Two of the largest of these are the medial (ulnar) collateral ligament and lateral (radial) collateral ligament. The lateral collateral ligament connects the radius across the wrist to the scaphoid carpal, and the medial collateral ligament attaches the end of ulna to the triquetrum and pisiform carpals.