No matter what type
of elbow injury
you have, your elbow rehab should focus on several main areas to be
effective. If you are suffering from elbow pain, or are currently
rehabilitating an elbow injury, make sure that your program is
addressing all of these areas.
Range of Motion
Loss of motion at
the elbow joint is not common, but it does occur.
on your injury, you may not be able to fully bend or straighten your
elbow. Your elbow program should focus on improving your range
If your motion is limited by joint
tightness, your ATC
or PT may need to perform joint mobilizations. This type of restriction
is common after a fracture, or if you have been in a cast and your
elbow immobilized for a period of time.
limited by muscular tightness, stretching is the way to fix it.
Stretches for your forearm, as well as your shoulder should be included
in your program.
exercises for the biceps, triceps, forearm extensors, and forearm
flexors are important for any rehab program. What is important
remember about the elbow is its relationship to the shoulder. Many
times weaknesses at the shoulder, especially in the scapular
stabilizers and rotator cuff can contribute to elbow problems.
you have a chronic or overuse type of elbow injury, like tennis elbow
you may need to focus some of your rehab efforts on your shoulder.
Weakness at the shoulder often contributes to overload of the elbow
muscles, resulting in pain.
Make sure that your
elbow rehab is
addressing any possible weakness at the shoulder in addition to
strengthening of the elbow muscles.
elbow injuries are caused by improper mechanics. This is especially
true for throwing athletes. If you are not properly aligned, or if you
are using poor form, your elbow will suffer.
throwing mechanics, or any biomechanical evaluation should be done by
either your athletic trainer, physical therapist, or coach.
sure that they are evaluating your entire body, not just the elbow.
Sometimes mechanical problems at the shoulder or hips can contribute to
elbow injury. Remember everything is connected!
rehab must focus on improving range of motion, improving strength, and
proper mechanics in order to be successful. Make sure that your program
is not neglecting the shoulder, both for strengthening and for proper
mechanics. Talk with your athletic trainer or physical therapist if
your rehab program does not inlcude one of these areas.
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