You play golf and your elbow hurts. You play tennis and your elbow hurts. You’re at the gym doing push-ups and your elbow hurts. Gardening? Elbow hurts. Computer? Elbow hurts. The list goes on. You may say to yourself, “I don’t remember injuring my elbow”.
You’re probably right. You may not have ever injured your elbow directly, so why is it suddenly painful?
The majority of your wrist muscles also attach to your elbow. The relationship between your elbow and your shoulder is somewhat different though. Your shoulder muscles don’t attach to your elbow. However, your shoulder joint movements can affect your elbow joint. If you swing your golf club or tennis racket and your shoulders are not aligned correctly or you do not follow through with the swing properly, then your elbow will take the majority of force from the contact as an over-compensatory reaction.
From your wrists’ perspective here is what happens. Ideally, when we contract any muscle, we want to keep relaxed prior to performing the movement so that way we can fire our muscles more quickly than if we were already tensing our muscles.
If you use a tight death grip on your club, racket, computer mouse etc., then the muscles of your wrist that extend up to your elbow are already overactivated.
This tension or death gripping, in these particular movements (golf, tennis, computer mouse etc.), will have consequences that lead to a painful elbow.
Using Dry Needling for Elbow Pain
Dry Needling is a very useful therapy for helping to break up the “knots” in your muscles. Dry Needling is also effective for improving blood flow into the painful area to promote healing and relaxation of your muscles to make it them softer and in turn decrease your pain.
Because there is often a much more complex problem causing your elbow symptoms, dry needling alone is usually not enough to fix the issue altogether.
Pain and injury at the elbow usually also require additional physiotherapy techniques such as hands-on soft tissue and nerve release, taping and exercise therapy. This active rehabilitation will teach you how to perform movements in a much more functional way. This may include looking at office ergonomics.
When you can move more functionally you can avoid injury and further pain whilst still keeping up with your favorite activities or get your work done without pain.