Tendinopathy of the extensor muscles of the forearm (the muscles responsible for extending the wrist and fingers) it is a very common overuse injury, occurring frequently in non-sporting people despite being commonly known as “tennis elbow”.
Pain is usually localised to the forearm toward the outer surface of the elbow joint. Symptoms are often aggravated by grasping and/or trying to extend the wrist and fingers under resistance.
It’s common amongst various demographics and occupations. Typing on a keyboard, using a smartphone, or performing DIY can lead to overuse of these muscles and cause intermittent, lasting pain.
Stretching and strengthening to the forearm extensors is a key part of rehabilitation. Usually,resistance-based exercises to create eccentric contractions can help heal the tendons. Massage and acupuncture can also be administered to help the muscles relax.
Occurring on the opposite side to tennis elbow, this condition is less common and causes tendinopathy of the forearm flexors (muscles used to flex the wrist and fingers). It’s a common overuse injury found amongst both sporting and non-sporting individuals.
Usually there is pain on wrist flexion, i.e., attempting to carry a bag or performing an overhand motion, such as a tennis serve or using a hammer.
A single, strong contraction can cause an initial flare up, or repetitive use overtime can cause an inflammatory response.
Much like tennis elbow, eccentric based exercise affecting the biceps and forearm flexors can help rehabilitate the tendons. The forearm muscles can also be release using techniques such as massage and medical acupuncture.
The olecranon forms part of the ulnar, one of the two bones which make up the forearm. It provides a socket for the upper arm bone, the humerus. On the outer surface of this bony landmark is a bursa. Bursae are synovial fluid filled sacs which help to reduce friction during joint movement. Sometime these bursae (which are located throughout the body) can become inflamed.
This condition is typically easy to recognise. It presents as a swelling over the tip of your elbow. It may appear be red depending on the severity and depth of inflammation.
This can often cause, but is not limited to, continuous rubbing or pinching of the elbow. More rarely this could be the result of an infection. Leaning on a desk with your elbow(s) is therefore a common contributing factor.
Tight triceps brachii can be causing aggravation and predisposing the issue, it may also be advised to wear an elasticated sleeve to provide some protection and help control the swelling. Lifestyle advice and education is an important part of recovery.
This condition affects the wrist and can causes pins and needles, numbness, and weakness into the hand and fingers. It’s caused by the median nerve becoming compressed in area called the carpal tunnel, a passage for the nerve to pass through the wrist and into the hand.
Typically, it will present with neurological symptoms (pins and needles, numbness, weakness) into the thumb and first 2 fingers. This type of condition has a fairly unique presentation making it relatively easy to diagnose via a thorough case history and specific examination.
This condition is often not precipitated by trauma or injury; however, overuse of the forearm muscles can be a contributing factor.
Exercises to stretch the forearm flexors, medical acupuncture, and massage can help relieve some compression of the median nerve. Homecare advice and the use of a splint can also help provide relief of symptoms.