All types of sports and activities can lead to elbow problems, causing persistent pain, inflammation, stiffness, and even numbness that extends all the way down to the fingers. Thankfully, the team at Valley Sports Physicians can provide a range of proven, non-invasive treatments to directly address what is causing a patient’s issue. If you have been diagnosed with any of the conditions outlined below, or your elbow simply just hurts and doesn’t move as it should, we’re ready to offer a solution, so give us a call today.
Despite their names, most people who develop Tennis or Golfer’s elbow actually do NOT participate in either of these sports! They are both colloquial names for common tendon injuries that occur due to overuse. They are characterized by pain felt either on the inside or outside of the elbow, swelling, and chronic inflammation. With activity modification, physical therapy, and/or injections like prolotherapy, we can help a patient’s aching tendons finally heal so they can live, work, and play free of pain and stiffness.
Even very young athletes can develop joint issues due to overuse, and a particular one, known as Little League Elbow, is a specific type of injury that occurs in child athletes that still have open growth plates in their elbow. This can develop for athletes who participate in baseball, softball, tennis, and more. It is easily treatable, but the most important thing a parent can do is listen to their child if they say their elbow hurts. It’s better to be cautious and bring a child to come see us at the earliest sign of symptoms so we can prevent the injury from becoming worse.
You don’t need to be a doctor to notice that pitching a baseball at a high speed places a lot of stress on the tendons of the arm. As with any motion that is done repetitively over a long period of time, this can lead to injury, a breakdown of the tendons in the forearm, and chronic pain that hampers performance. Physical therapy, targeted injections, and activity modification can easily stop someone’s current symptoms and prevent them from progressing.
You may have heard of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, which usually affects the wrists and hands, but a similar condition, known as Radial Tunnel Syndrome, can actually occur in the forearm near the elbow. Both have the same basic cause—a sensitive nerve that is surrounded by various muscles, bones, ligaments, and tendons is being pressed on. This can lead to a dull, aching pain at the top of the forearm. Our team can often remove the excess pressure on the nerve, and we can even coat the nerve using a special fluid so it is freed and doesn’t experience any more discomfort.
Tendinitis is a chronic condition that can affect many different areas of the body. It’s characterized by inflammation, pain, stiffness, and it only tends to get worse over time. It’s typically the result of small tears and injuries to a tendon that aren’t allowed to heal properly. Left untreated, tendinitis can eventually become tendinosis, a degenerative condition that can lead to a complete breakdown of the tendon and associated joint. We can intervene well before this happens and treat any tendinitis in the elbow so we can solve a patient’s problems now and prevent even bigger ones in the future.
Pronator syndrome is a condition that is very similar to Radial Tunnel Syndrome, in that a nerve that travels through the elbow has become compressed, and this leads to pain. In this case, it is the median nerve that is experiencing issues, and this is much rarer compared to Radial Tunnel Syndrome. Using diagnostic ultrasound, our team can identify what is causing a patient’s nerve pain and apply treatments specifically designed to free the nerve and prevent future problems.
Arthritis is a condition that involves the gradual breakdown of the cartilage within a joint, which can cause bones to rub against one another, leading to pain and inflammation in the nearby muscles, ligaments, and tendons. The most common cause of arthritis in the elbow is rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune condition, but it can also be brought on by osteoarthritis and injury. At Valley Sports Physicians, we can help with arthritis pain by reducing the inflammation and ensuring the associated tissues are in the best possible condition, which can drastically decrease pain and improve range of motion.