Are you dealing with elbow issues?

Dr. Dustin Bergeron of Denison Chiropractic goes over a problem that a lot of people deal with: Are you dealing with elbow issues?

Hey guys, I wanted to take a second today to talk about medial and lateral epicondylitis or tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow. Basically, your irritation in the elbow typically happens from repetitive motions over and over.

This one is specifically for a friend, Nathan, he’s a drummer. He has been playing a lot more lately, and he’s just kind of toughing through it. His elbow is killing him, and he was not sure what all to try. People had mentioned maybe a cortisone shot; that does get rid of inflammation, but there’s side effects with that. There’s myofascial release, which some of you all may know. A simple start that I told him to try is actually using a VooDoo band for some work, and then doing an ice massage, rather than just global ice.

What tennis or medial epicondylitis and lateral epicondylitis and golfer’s elbow, all that stuff is; is whenever there is muscles and tendons that come up and wrap around this joint, and they attach … Let’s say one’s coming around here and attaches. Then I’m playing tennis a lot or drumming, then this is going getting a lot of work right around where it wraps to the bone. There ends up being inflammation, and then these little-bitty spots end up really, really tender. There’s inflammation, then the body actually throws in a little bit of spasm around that. You’re not going to feel it seize up like a spasm, more just like a locking mechanism. You get trigger points built up so that it’s stabilizing the joint, trying to keep it from further injury; you end up with knots that are just really tender.

That’s one way that people will use myofascial release, is to actually go in and do some scraping to break up adhesion and scar tissue; which can happen if it’s been there long enough or a previous injury has caused that to loop back around. Then ice, just global ice helps flesh out inflammation. With VooDoo band, it works very similar to the myofascial release, but the way that you do it; this is just a really tight band. I got mine on, you can probably get them at Academy, Dick’s Sporting Goods, all that stuff. It’s a lot easier if you have somebody else doing it to you on your elbow. You can do it on your knee, something like that where you have both your hands. The elbow by yourself is difficult, so Nathan, for you, have somebody do it.

What you want to do is start by laying this around mid to upper forearm, and then this wraps around. Then you pull, and you just loop until you’re going up around that joint. I like to stagger above and below. Then once it’s on, you take it through your range of motion. Flex it, come all the way down, roll out, bring it in. Sit for a second, and then I’ll actually let my arm relax so it can sink deeper. You’re helping separate the fascia from the muscle, letting inflammation and fluid just move around easier. It can help break up some scar tissue.

The only trick is right now, this is still at its full width, so it’s not tight at all. Whenever you are having this put on, you want it strapped tight to where typically, if this is the normal thickness, it’s going to be maybe three-quarters or a little bit less. You want to make it tight, so it’s going to be tender whenever they’re wrapping it around, it gets intense. Then you pull and you tighten those muscles, but then you relax and it gets a little intense for a minute, but it really helps relieve it.

Another friend, Nick, does this. He works out with us at our crossfit. It helps him a lot. He has to keep doing it, that’s the only problem. Unless you can sometimes remove what you’re doing repetitively that irritates that joint, it can be difficult to get it to stay away. Sometimes, there is joint disfunction. If there is joint disfunction causing things to not move well, which is causing that inflammation; then maybe you can actually get it completely resolved by getting normal joint motion in that area. Then the other piece that I was going to tell you about is ice massage.

Rather than global ice, you can use ice massage like myofascial release a little bit as well, but you also can get deeper into the joint. Let’s say that this is a piece of ice. Slippery, wet, right? I’m going to wrap a paper towel around it, and then I’m going to actually use it to grind into these joints. Here’s a couple of bones, and I’m going to work my way all around these grooves. Around out here, and then you can hit it with a little bit of ice afterwards to calm it down.

Drink a lot of water, there’s always some good things for inflammation. There’s tumeric or cumin; a number of other things, but start with that, see how that goes for you. If you have any questions, let me know and then I’ll see you all there. Bye.

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