Summer is fast approaching in Michigan. We’ve already seen a few golfers out on the links, which means that the tennis courts will be filling up soon, too. And in another month or two pools will be opening. But while these non-contact sports are excellent forms of exercise, they aren’t without their own common types of sports injuries.
Whether you play softball or a racquet sport, golf, weightlift, or swim as a pastime, you may end up suffering from elbow pain – either during your sports activities, or afterwards in your everyday life.
In this article experienced sports injury doctor Uzma Rehman, DO discusses common sports related elbow injuries that may be causing you pain.
Types of Common Sports Injury to the Elbow
Put in basic terms, most sports injuries to the elbow are not from an impact, but from overuse. Repetitive extension, twisting and over extending can cause elbow injuries that develop suddenly – or that worsen over time.
Some sports injuries of the elbow affect the extensor tendon on the outside of the elbow, while other injuries may affect the tendon on the inside of the elbow.
In other situations, the problem is not the tendons, but rather inflammation of the cartilage and bone in the elbow (posterior impingement). In other patients, small pieces of cartilage may break loose and float in the elbow joint, causing inflammation and pain.
Most Common Sports Injuries of the Elbow
Tennis Elbow is a painful condition caused by the repetitive extending and twisting motions of tennis, or other sports. These repetitive motions cause the extensor tendon on the outside of the elbow to become inflamed.
It is important to see a specialized sports injury doctor, like Uzma Rehman, DO if you believe you have tennis elbow for a proper diagnosis. This is because some other conditions have similar symptoms to tennis elbow.
Golfer’s Elbow very similar to Tennis Elbow, but in this condition it is the tendon on the inside of the elbow suffers inflammation.
Distal Biceps Rupture
The distal biceps is the tendon that attaches to the radius bone in the elbow. If this tendon becomes worn-out from overuse, it can rupture – which causes intense pain in the elbow. In other cases the biceps muscle can retract into the upper arm, which cause pain as well as a prominent, visible bump.
This condition is caused by repetitive, forced, over-extension of the elbow. It is most common in overhead racket sports, throwing, and swimming – as well as in some contact sports such as boxing.
If you have Posterior Impingement of the elbow, straightening it will cause pain at the back of the elbow “Locking up” and/or a clicking sound may also occur.
This is a serious and complex medical injury that requires immediate, urgent treatment by a specialized sports injury or orthopedic doctor. Elbow Dislocation occurs suddenly, unlike the other elbow conditions which develop gradually over time. Elbow Dislocation is often associated with other injuries such as broken bones (fractures).
Treatment of Sports Injuries of the Elbow
Depending on the type of elbow pain and injury you are experiencing, most elbow conditions are treated non-surgically first.
These treatments typically include anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce pain and swelling. And in the case of repetitive motion injuries, resting the injured elbow is essential. If this is not enough to manage the pain and swelling, Dr. Rehman may administer corticosteroid injections.
Specialized sports injury doctor Uzma Rehman may also prescribe a special strap or splint to support and immobilize the injured elbow. And, in many cases physical therapy treatments by our experienced and specialized hand, arm and elbow therapists may reduce pain and restore usage to the injured elbow.
Only the most serious and acute elbow condition, such as a distal biceps rupture, need surgery immediately.
Diagnosing Elbow Sports Injury
The only way to properly diagnose and treat your elbow injury is to be examined by an experienced sports injury doctor. Through x-rays, manipulations and other tests, Dr. Rehman can identify the cause of your elbow pain. This way she can prescribe the proper treatment to reduce pain, ensure that no permanent damage occurs, and restore your elbow function, so you can enjoy the sports you love for years to come.
Top Elbow Injury Doctor | Detroit Area
If you are suffering from an injury or pain in your elbow, contact board certified Detroit area hand and elbow doctor, Uzma Rehman, DO for a comprehensive evaluation and consultation. As with most medical conditions, early detection, awareness, and a prevention or treatment plan is the most effective way to reduce pain in the elbow, and to stop the condition from getting worse.
Doctor Rehman will assess your individual situation, and prescribe the treatments that are best for your condition.