Tennis elbow, golfers elbow, Medial and Lateral epicondylitis, carpal tunnel, thoracic outlet, these are all names for a similar string of conditions. All of these conditions share one thing in common. Irritation of the ligaments, tendons, and muscles of the upper extremity. What I want to talk about today is some preventative methods, some home care recommendations, and treatment options.
For all of these conditions inflammations is always present, or has been. If the issue chronic (long lasting) the involved tissues may no longer have active inflammation. However if the injury is acute there is typically active inflammation in these associated areas. So what can you do to help prevent these types of injuries?
The first thing is to try to avoid repetitive stress injuries. Anything during our daily activity that we do on a repetitive basis would fall into this category. A good example is using a mouse and keyboard.
While obviously you cannot stop doing this during the day the key is to take small breaks so that your joints and muscles get a chance to rest, what i recommend is every 20-30 minutes take a 30 second break where you can shake out your arms and get up and move around. This helps those tissues regain normal blood flow and keeps them for getting overwhelmed.
So what if it is too late and you have started to develop some symptomatology? At this point there is some irritation of the associated muscles and tendons. At this point treatment is your best option. At Active Life we use a technique called cross friction massage to help to break up and realign the irritated tissues. In addition to this there are several other viable techniques to use, such as cold laser, massage or trigger point acupuncture or dry needling. To complement all these things some home care recommendations will be given to help strengthen the area and help to linearize the tissue.
With a repetitive job prevention is the key. Keeping proper ergonomics of your job mechanics is important. However if something does happen we are always here to help at Active Life!