Forearm tendonitis, especially around elbow joint is a diagnosis that encompasses two common elbow conditions: tennis elbow, and golfer's elbow. Tennis elbow refers to inflammation of the tendons that attach to the outside or lateral part of the elbow, while golfer's elbow refers to inflammation of the tendons that attach to the inner or medial part of the elbow.
In order to effectively treat either type of elbow tendonitis, you first have to understand what tendons are. Simply put, tendons are the ends of muscles. They allow muscles to attach to bones. Put another way, every major muscle in your body emerges as a tendon from one of your bones and inserts as a tendon into another one of your bones.
Then, why your elbow hurts? It's simple. Because:
** Muscles get tight and stay that tight.
** Connective tissue shrink wraps down and constricts.
** Inflammation continues to pump out chemicals that enhance your sensitivity to pain.
When you have pain and stiffness due to inflammation in the tendons that originate in your elbow region, the focus of treatment should not be in your elbow region. Rather, the focus of treatment should be in your wrist region. More specifically, the best treatment for tennis or golfer's elbow is to rest the wrist joint so that the muscles that control your wrist joint can rest. By resting or even immobilizing your wrist joint, the muscles in your forearms and their emerging tendons in the elbow region can rest and heal.
For that reason, the main reason for forearm tendonitis is job related. If you have a job that requires prolonged holding, lifting, carrying, driving, and typing, and other consistent and repetitive usage of hand, wrist and elbow, it can put constant strain in muscle and tendon and it is likely they will be more prone to tendonitis.
If you have pain in elbow and forearm, you need to know if it is chronic or acute. In short, 'acute' tendonitis is the label for the scenario where you were fine, then something happens (or not), and all of a sudden you have bad tendonitis pain. The dynamic was there previously, but all of a sudden you hurt, potentially hurt a lot, and then the pain subsides. On the other hand, Chronic Tendonitis lasts over time. Maybe it gets a little better and a little worse, but chronic means it's a nagging, lasting issue. When things are too tight for too long, that not only causes pain but it causes the pain to remain. "Why won't my tendonitis go away? It's been hurting for years!" Yep. And it's predictable that it will continue to hurt. It really is as simple as that. That's why chronic tendon pain stays in place over time.
It's very important to know that if you have acute tendon pain right now, it is very likely going to turn into chronic tendon pain. Even if the pain goes away totally, the MECHANISM of Tendonitis is alive and well. Remember what Tendonitis is? It's tight muscles that stay tight, and slowly get tighter. It's connective tissue shrink wrapping those tight muscles. It's the inflammation process.
If you leave it untreated, it will progress to chronic tendonitis and it will be less likely to get positive relief from conventional treatment option, including stretch, brace and so forth. Don't wait until acute tendonitis turning into chronic tendonitis that will affect your daily life.
Contact JK Physical Therapy and get the help you need for fast pain relief!