Elbow Pain: Finding the Source of Your Elbow Tendinitis

Christine Wiese Upper Limb, Yoga Injuries, Your Questions 1 Comment

Transcript Below Of: Elbow Pain: Finding the Source of Your Elbow Tendinitis

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The Question:

All right, this month’s question of the month regarding elbow pain comes from Jade. I’ll read the question to you.

“I have a question about the elbow. A student of mine is experiencing discomfort, soreness, and on some days, pain in the left elbow that stays throughout the day. It seems to rear its ugly head when he puts it in full extension during vinyasa transitions and when he’s pulling back against the foot as in seated postures. It sounds to me like golfer’s elbow, even though he’s not a golfer. He seems to be ok if he keeps a slight bend in it at all times. Anything you would suggest?”

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The Answer:

Whenever you’re confronted with pain patterns like this, that come and go, stay throughout the day, you’re always going to be doing a little bit of investigation, testing, and seeing what you do that changes the particular outcome of the pain. See if it makes it less or increases it. All of those pieces of information add on to your ability to figure out what’s going on. So, it may very well be something like biceps, but there are a few things to check.

One is, test if it’s a particular kind of elbow pain called golfer’s elbow. That’s a typical thing that comes up when you have pain on the inside of the elbow. To test that, what you want to do is to start to play with the fingers. What I mean by that is the flexors of the fingers cross the elbow joint. So, usually the golfer’s elbow type of elbow pain has to do with how the grip is happening and the amount of gripping going on.

So what you could do is, when the person is going to do the bindings and they’re feeling that pain, instead of having them grasp with their hands, have them keep their hands open. See if that makes a change. If it does make a change, then it leads you more in the direction of the problem being those flexors of the elbow.

You could also test to see if you think biceps is involved. You could test to see if biceps is involved because we know that biceps is a flexor of the elbow. There’s something else that you need to know about biceps though. It’s a very strong supinator, that is, it rotates the forearm so the palm is facing up. So what you could do is, you could have them pronate their forearm, turn it so the palm is away, and then when you flex the elbow, biceps is going to be less involved. That could be a second test to see if that makes any difference.

All right? Try those couple of things first, see what happens. Feel free to report back. Maybe we’ll do another question of the month based on the feedback that we get and we can kind of follow this one all the way through.

You can submit your own question of the month by going to: https://www.yoganatomy.com/myquestion

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Comments 1

  1. In reference to Thomas W Myers’s “Anatomy Trains” with elbow pain, it is important to also evaluate their “Spiral Line”. The “Arm line” crosses the “Spiral Line”. A common point of tension (knot, trigger point. etc) can be found in the serratus anterior muscle. Connective tissue allows for pain to be referred from farther places than where we “feel” the pain. Tip of treatment: use tennis ball or lacrosse ball to find spot (knot, trigger point. etc), lay on or lean against wall in same spot for 10 deep breaths, pain should decrease, move ball to near areas to find another spot. Postural Tendencies (how they sit, walk, work, favor one side more than another) can lead to asymmetries displaying physically and painfully. This book is a great resource to have and learn from as it illustrates the pathways of the connective tissue and the structures involved, encouraging us to look at the entirity of the body with our limitations and pains. Hope this is helpful!

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