Golfer's or tennis elbow
Tennis elbow is a painful degenerative disorder of the origins of the muscles. The extensor muscles of the wrist are affected far more often than the flexor muscles.
Tennis elbow occurs mostly in people who are exposed to over-strain through their work or through sporting activities. It particularly affects craftsmen, mechanics, hairdressers, manual workers (eg builders) and only rarely tennis players! Tennis elbow often occurs in the elderly.
Severe pain occurs around the outside of the elbow when rotating the forearm, when straightening the wrist against resistance, stretching the middle finger against resistance and when straightening the elbow and bending the wrist at the same time. The pain can be so severe that it is almost impossible to lift even light objects. The pain often radiates into the muscles of the forearm. If the patient makes a fist and then moves this upwards or downwards, the pain at the elbow increases. The forearm muscles are frequently very tense. Mild sensory disturbances may also occur. This is when a support for the elbow (such as Epicomed from medi) can help.
Effective treatment with the feel good factor
The support is made of compressive knit and has integrated silicone pads. These massage the elbow region and can reduce swelling to accelerate the healing process. By reducing tension on the origins of the tendons, the support eases irritative conditions and pain. A removable strap regulates the pressure individually.
Users should insist on breathable materials for comfort in wear and to keep the skin feeling fresh. There are also models with a soft Comfort Zone in the sensitive bend of the elbow (for example, Epicomed from medi in the colours silver, black and sand).
Soft laser, ultrasound and heat or ice packs can be used as supportive treatment. Additional measures include X-ray stimulation and extra-corporeal shock wave therapy (a type of ultrasound treatment). In isolated cases, an operation may also be necessary.
Background information: the elbow – three joints in one
The complex elbow joint actually consists of three smaller joints that share a common capsule. These provide for movement between the bone of the upper arm (the humerus), and the two bones of the forearm (radius and ulna). The interplay between the hinge joint and the ball and socket joint enables us to bend and straighten the elbow, while the so-called pivot joint allows the forearm to rotate.
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