April 8, 2010

Elbow-itis; sore, stiff, tight, tender elbows

Posted in Anatomy, Injuries, Thai Yoga Massage at 6:33 pm by SuzanneMAndrew

Often called ‘tennis elbow’ or ‘golf elbow’; sore elbows aren’t unique to tennis player and golfers.  Any repetitive forearm motion, especially those requiring strength, can cause sore, tender, tight elbows.   In the last year, I’ve had clients with chronic elbow soreness from all kinds of sports; plus guitar playing, house painting and even cell-phone talking.

Because of the complexity of the elbow joint, where the ulnar and radius bones actually pivot over one another as you pronate and supinate your hands  (think of the motion of flipping a pancake with a spatula; that movement takes the hand from supinated when the pancake is retrieved with the spatula to pronated when the pancake is flipped) this area of the body is prone to minor injury from overuse.  With overuse in the forearms, the pronator and supinator muscles tend to tighten, putting pressure on the forearm flexors; which can make many common movements like typing, writing, chopping, driving uncomfortable.

Often, the trick to relief is to create a lengthening contraction in the top forearm muscles.  Here’s a link to the New York Times article that discusses and shows exactly how to create a lengthening contraction in the forearms.

Phys Ed: An Easy Fix for Tennis Elbow? – Well Blog – NYTimes.com.

Nearly every client who has tried this exercise of eccentric contraction has experienced elbow relief.   No need to buy a special piece of equipment to stretch your elbows; you can use a water bottle, section of a pool noodle or stand facing the edge of a door to use the door knobs as tools to lengthen and contract the top forearm muscles.  The goal is to create some extra space, which may relieving some pain, soreness or tightness.

Sore elbows are quite  common; so even if you’re not struggling with stiff, sore elbows today; it makes sense to add this exercise to your yoga or stretching routine, simply to maintain spaciousness in those elbows and prevent any possible problems.

Here’s to feeling great in the bodies we have today!

 Suzanne Andrew is a Thai Yoga Massage Therapist, Yoga Teacher, Trainer, Coach and Business Consultant in St. Petersburg, FL  who likes to keep her elbows flexible for enjoying a nice reisling while watching the sunset at the beach!  Schedule an appointment today: www.TryThaiYogaMassage.com

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