When elbow pain strikes, what do you do? First, let’s take a look at what causes elbow pain. There are many different types of injuries related to the elbow. Today, I want to touch on two of the most common. They are easy to diagnose, easy to treat but can be difficult to totally get rid of the pain.
The two most common diagnoses are “Tennis elbow” and “Golfer’s elbow”. Tennis elbow’s clinical name is Lateral Epicondylitis. It is the inflammation of the common extensor tendon of the forearm and is located on the outside of the elbow.
Golfer’s elbow’s clinical name is Medial Epicondylitis. It is inflammation of the common flexor tendon of the forearm and is located on the inside of the elbow.
For the non athlete, there are many things that can cause or bring on these conditions. The two most common are 1) A strenuous or aggressive activity, like swinging a heavy hammer or lifting something very heavy, or 2) A repetitive or overuse activity, such as factory line work or keyboarding.
The good news is they are easy to treat!
1. REST. Avoid any activity that causes pain.
2. ICE. I feel that an ice massage for 5 minutes is most effective.
3. STRETCH the affected area. This is done by putting arm straight out in front. Pull wrist up to stretch the flexors for Golfer’s elbow or wrist down for Tennis elbow. Hold stretches for 10 sec for about 5 reps.
4. Lastly, you can purchase a STRAP to wear around your forearm about an inch below your elbow to give you some relief.
Now, as I mentioned earlier, although these conditions are easy to treat they can be hard to totally get rid of. Give it a month or so, and if it does not improve with these 4 tips, let your local Physical Therapist give you a hand. One last thing to remember: don’t let this condition go, the longer you wait the tougher these conditions are to treat.
By: Brian Colvin, PT
Most people visit a doctor or a physical therapist when they are in pain. When a patient comes to see me, he/she will typically have a diagnosis from their doctor such as low back pain, or shoulder impingement. The patient will be eager to tell me where they hurt. The location of pain is obviously helpful to know, but my job is to successfully determine the cause of the pain.
First, let’s talk about why we have pain. Pain is basically a warning signal, letting us know that something is wrong. Interestingly, the source of the pain (the location where the pain is coming from) is often different from the cause of the pain (the dysfunctional areas in our body that lead to altered movement mechanics and then compensatory pain). Here is an example: Say someone comes to see me because their right shoulder started hurting, with no specific injury. The patient will be focused on the painful area, but I need to evaluate the surrounding areas (such as the cervical spine, thoracic spine, scapula, and elbow) to determine if dysfunction somewhere else has resulted in movement compensation and pain in the shoulder. If my only focus is on reducing the pain, we could do modalities (heat, ice, ultrasound, EStim) to the painful area, or have the patient take pain meds or anti-inflammatory meds. This may help to temporarily relieve the pain, but it does not correct the dysfunction that led to the pain, and will result in only short term gains at best. However, if I find the dysfunction and identify the cause of the pain, we can work to correct the dysfunction and fix the problem. That will not only result in improvement in symptoms, but also a long term fix to keep the pain from returning!
All rehabilitation professionals (PT’s, OT’s, Chiropractors) have talents and skills for treating the body. However, the most talented professionals have the ability to accurately diagnose the cause of your problem so that they can treat it correctly to achieve long term success. No matter how good our skills are, if we can’t identify what is causing your pain, we will not be able to treat it properly.
Fortunately for you, the PT’s at Hudsonville Physical Therapy are skilled at both diagnosing the cause of your pain, as well as treating the dysfunction to give you lasting improvement. Remember, don’t just treat the pain…let us help you find the cause so that we can correct the problem!
By Mason Riegel, PT, (SFMA, FMS 1 & 2 Certified)
Lets be honest, sometimes it can be scary going to a new doctor appointment! There are new people, a new office, and figuring out insurance. We strive to make you feel as comfortable as possible while working to help you move better! Below are some expectations for your first appointment with us.
If you go to the doctor and he or she suggests physical therapy, your doctor’s office will fax over a referral over to us and we will call you, or they will have you call to set up an appointment. During that phone conversation we will ask you how you heard of us, for a phone number to reach you at, and what insurance you have. We will tell you if your insurance is in-network with us before your first appointment (we are in-network with all major insurances in Michigan). We will ask you to bring your insurance card with you, and your referral if we don’t have it yet. When we set up the appointment, we will ask you to arrive 10 to 15 minutes early before your scheduled time to do some paperwork. Our paperwork includes a registration form, a medical history, and a short survey asking you to rate your pain level with different activities.
What to wear:
Your first appointment will start with an evaluation and then your therapist will begin treatment. It is the most convenient if you’re able to wear loose fitting, comfortable clothing so the therapist can access your area of injury better and so that you can move around easier. The therapist will also tell you what they think the best course of treatment is for you, including how many times a week you may need and how long they believe you will have to come in order to get back to feeling better.
For the initial appointment we allow for between 30 minutes and 1 hour. Appointments after that usually last 30-45 minutes.
We will scan your insurance card into our system and check your eligibility and benefits while you are in your appointment. We will let you know what your benefits are from what we were told on the phone but we do recommend that you also verify it yourself. When we talk with the insurance company about your benefits it is an estimate of what you owe, not a guarantee.
If you have any questions or concerns, or would like to set up an appointment, call us at 616-662-0990.
By: Becca Popma
People often have pain in their bodies that they hope will just heal on its own. Many go for days, weeks, and even months, but see no change and get discouraged.
If you are one of those wondering if getting physical therapy will help, we have a free, no-strings-attached option for you.
At Hudsonville Physical Therapy you can set up a completely free consultation with one of our licensed physical therapists.
They will sit down with you and evaluate whether PT is a good option for you. They will give an honest opinion on if they think we can help, and if so, explain what physical therapy for your condition would look like, and how they can help you.
This first step has helped many people make an informed decision on whether to move forward with this type of treatment.
Make a decision today to take a hold of your health and start feeling better! Our staff is available and committed to serving you in any way we can.
To set up a free 15-min consultation just call our office at 616-662-0090.
By: Sherri Prins
Its Spring! Lots of people are moving in the Spring, whether it’s to a new home or helping move a kid out of college for the summer, or even doing some Spring cleaning that involves moving heavy objects. Moving heavy objects can cause a lot of aches and pains, and we have some tips for you to keep in mind to keep your back and knees safe this Spring!
Getting ready to lift:
By: Lisa Bartz, Exercise Physiologist (C-EP)
Steve Bartz, PT