Does chiropractic help with elbow and arm pain? Of course! Many people know chiropractors help with many spinal related issues but do not know about treatments for extremities. Denver has a vast population that performs physical activity on a regular basis. Many citizens participate in recreational sports leagues, crossfit boxes, pick-up games of volleyball at Wash Park, or just a leisurely jog around Sloan’s Lake or downtown Denver. Elbow and arm pain can be more prevalent in sports but can occur to anyone at any age. This article will go through some typical conditions related to the elbow and arm and how these conditions may be treated conservatively.
Common Elbow and Arm Conditions:
- Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow)
- One of the more common and recognizable elbow conditions. This is an overuse injury that can occur with a variety of activities, but more common with athletic movements like tennis and other racquet sports. It is caused by inflammation in the outside elbow region where certain tendons attach. Overuse and repetitive movements are typically a cause of this injury.
- Medial Epicondylitis (Golfer’s Elbow)
- Similar to tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow is on the inside portion of the elbow. You do not necessarily have to be playing golf to obtain this elbow injury, as any repetitive movement that uses these muscles and tendons can create this painful condition.
- Carpal Tunnel
- Another common and well known condition is carpal tunnel. This is named for the tunnel the median nerve in the arm travels through. When the median nerve becomes compressed in this area, pain and/or numbness can occur in the palm side of the hand typically in the thumb through fourth finger. Work and typing are commonly thought of things with carpal tunnel, but can also occur due to acute trauma, fractures of the wrist, and many other things that can contribute to compression in the wrist.
- Radial Tunnel Syndrome
- Commonly mistaken for tennis elbow, this condition presents in the forearm slightly below the elbow. This condition presents with sharp pain or numbness that may occur through the forearm into the back part of the hand and typically accompanies weakness in the arm or hand. It is due to the radial nerve in the forearm being compressed and is important to get evaluated so the nerve pressure can be relieved before further damage.
- There are many tendons and ligaments that run through the arm and hand and all of these can become injured or have inflammation.
- Referred pain from the neck
- Radiating pain from nerves in the neck and shoulder commonly refer pain through various parts of the arm. The location of the symptoms in the arm correlate with nerves throughout the body and can be distinguished by sensory or muscle testing or additional imaging (if needed). It is important to seek treatment immediately so the nerves do not have constant pressure on them which may result in further problems.
- Fractures/Broken Bones
- Many More
It is important to get a accurate diagnosis in order to obtain proper treatment for these conditions. During the initial visit with our chiropractor, a comprehensive exam is performed using orthopedic, neurological, muscle testing, and additional imaging or testing (if needed) to confirm the condition and create the most effective treatment plan or referral if it is not within the scope of practice of a chiropractor.
How does a chiropractor treat these conditions?
There are numerous different treatment techniques and methods a chiropractor can use based on what is causing the underlying pain. This may include any of the following: soft tissue therapy including myofascial release, active and passive stretching, physical therapy, electrical stimulation, IASTM (Instrument assisted soft tissue manipulation), and chiropractic adjustments. Most patients in our clinic find these techniques very comfortable and effective.
If you are located in the Denver, Wheat Ridge, Lakewood, or Arvada neighborhoods and are currently experiencing symptoms in the arm or elbow, contact our office at 720-242-6251.