WHAT WAS the first thing you thought of when you saw “elbow” and “tendonitis”? I’ll bet it was tennis elbow. So called “tennis elbow” can occur for many of us, not just tennis players. The tendons on the outside of the elbow can become overloaded and inflamed as the result of repetitive use and motion such as those of carpenters, butchers, painters, assembly line workers, …. well – I’m sure you get the idea.
This type of pain that originates in the elbow, can radiate down the forearm and into the wrist, making it difficult for twisting and turning motions with the hand, i.e.: opening a door, a bottle, or even holding your morning cuppa. In some cases, it can also migrate up into the shoulder.
If you have these symptoms, elbow braces for tendonitis may be just what you need to alleviate the pain, give support, and allow healing.
First of all, what exactly is tendonitis? As mentioned above, stressful, repetitive motions over time will create a series of tiny tears in the tendon which will lead to pain and inflammation.
Age – It quite often affects people in the 30 – 50 bracket, but that doesn’t mean it you won’t be affected earlier or later in life. As tendons age they tolerate less stress, are less elastic, and are easier to tear.
Occupation – As I’ve mentioned already, and as you can imagine, what you do for a living will greatly influence your elbow joints.
Sports – Then there is the obvious one: playing tennis, baseball, or any similar sport that involves repetitive elbow action and stress.
Women – This is one that wasn’t mentioned in any research that I did, but thought of it on my own. How about how (primarily) women use (and abuse) their elbow joints by carrying on the inside joint of the elbow…
- an infant in a carrier
- a handbag that is weighted down
- shopping baskets at the grocery store
While these actions aren’t as constant as some, they will, along with other repetitive movements, add an accumulative detrimental effect to the elbow tendons, slowly creating the tears that lead to tendonitis. What could also develop is numbness and/or tingling in the fingers due to nerve communication being disrupted from this added weight in a very concentrated area from a thin strap or bar.
Certain Medical Conditions – Thyroid problems may have an effect on tendonitis, along with rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis, as well as unusual reactions to medications. Even an infection lower on the arm (forearm, hand, fingers) can work its way into the elbow joint causing inflammation there too if it is stressed already.
What Can Be Done?
This is something that 80%-95% of the time can be addressed without surgery.
Resting your elbow is the first step. Healing can’t and won’t happen if you continue to stress and strain an inflamed joint. Specific exercises would be helpful once the pain subsides.
You would want to target the forearm muscles as it’s the tendons that connect to these muscles that suffer the wear and tear (literally) from overuse/abuse.
Then there is the use of a brace or wrap. Elbow braces for tendonitis can give support and relief from the pain and discomfort by allowing the muscles and tendons to relax and heal.
Something To Add?
Do you have a story, some advice to pass along, or an experience that I haven’t covered under this article? There are so many possibilities when it comes to joint problems, and particularly the elbow, that I won’t be able to cover them all, so please feel free to share what you are going through. I promise to reply asap 😉
Here’s to your healing journey!