If you are like most people, you never really give any thought to your elbow.
I can think of only 2 occasions to which you would remember:
- When you strike your funny bone
- When you are experiencing pain
Other than that, we rarely ever give our elbows a second thought.
Wouldn´t you agree?
Have you ever stopped to think or consider how many times a day you actually bend your elbow?
Hundreds if not thousands of times a day you do this without even knowing or realizing it.
So what happens when all of a sudden your elbow hurts when bent or simply extending and flexing it?
Should you be concerned?
Elbow pain when bending your elbow can be a sign of an injury to your forearm muscles and/or tendons which attach at your elbow. A common symptom of tennis or golfers elbow.
Yes you should be but …
I will put your mind at ease by answering all the important questions that are floating around in your head right now.
Do not be afraid, I will give you everything you need to know AND …
Check out my post on why your elbow hurts can`t straighten arm. You will most certainly be able to relate to everything I disclose in this post.
Give you a simple action plan for treatment.
So be sure to read this article in it`s entirety.
Summary Of Facts
- 1. 23 muscles that help maintain elbow flexibility and stability
- 2. Your elbow is a high risk joint
- 3. Importance of Ulnar Collateral Ligament
- 4. Elbow complexity
And could it be something that could turn into a more serious condition down the road, where you can`t even hold your toothbrush because the pain in your elbow is unbearable.
Or even hold a hot cup of tea or coffee without stressing as to whether you are going to spill or drop it on yourself.
If you have been noticing your elbow pain at night and when sleeping, be sure to read my article right here, as it has loads of tips on how to get a good nights rest – pain free.
Before I tell you what exactly is causing your elbow discomfort when bending your elbow…
It is important to learn a little about your elbow and for most of you, what you will learn will surprise you!
There are 23 muscles that help you maintain elbow stability and flexibility.
That being said, the small extensors, flexors and muscles allow you to rotate your forearm, extend/flex your wrist and move your fingers.
The more obvious players are the major muscles in your arm(biceps and triceps) that are responsible for and allow your elbow to flex and bend.
Overextending your elbow beyond it`s normal range of motion can cause injury.
This is most seen in athletes who reach out to catch a ball.
For example football, baseball and volleyball players often suffer from hyper-extended elbows.
Your elbow is much more susceptible to injury than you think.
Here`s the thing …
You could actually injure your elbow simply by reading this post on your tablet or smartphone.
I am not joking!
Here`s how …
When you are holding your smartphone or tablet, your elbows are most likely in a bending position.
Am I correct?
Maintaining and holding this position for an extended period of time can cause inflammation and irritation of your ulnar nerve.
How can you tell this?
If you start to experience a tingling or numbness sensation in your hand or fingers.
This is a tell tale sign that you are holding a bent position of your elbow for too long and it is time to take a break.
So what does this have to do with your elbow?
Your ulnar nerve runs around the back of your elbow.
When it becomes compressed, it is medically referred too as cubital tunnel syndrome.
A fancy name for compression of the ulnar nerve – don`t you think.
Irritation, inflammation and pinching at this location behind the elbow can cause elbow pain and discomfort.
Before we move onto Fact number 3, I recommend you check out athletico.com`s article on what to do about elbow pain. Again, great advice from out friends over there – 100% professionals over there.
There is one main ligament that is oh so important and vital for maintaining good elbow health, function and longevity.
The ulnar collateral ligament is king when it comes to connecting your forearm bones with your ulnar bone.
To be perfectly honest with you, if you never had this ligament, there would be nothing holding your elbow joint together.
This white, fibrous tissue is very strong and pliable but …
When it ruptures or tears, it can cause extreme pain at your elbow and …
Limit your ability to flex and extend your elbow as you normally could.
This type of condition is mostly seen in very active individuals involved in contact sports such as football, ice hockey and baseball.
The other major ligament at your elbow is called the radial collateral ligament.
This one is on the outer part of your elbow and helps prevent over extension of your elbow.
Be sure to make reference to Cedars-Sinai Hospital`s website for more information on other conditions that can affect your elbow.
The last fact you need to be aware of is …
How complex is your elbow really?
Although it doesn`t take up much room on your body, your elbow is comprised of 3 bones.
These 3 bones(humerus, ulna, radius) come together in such a way that it allows your elbow to act as a hinge.
If it wasn`t for these 3 bones, you would not be able to grip and hold a coffee mug, flex your biceps or carry a small bag.
So now that you know a little more about how your elbow works and functions, it is time to get into the real reasons as to why bending your elbow is causing so much pain and misery.
If you are also noticing some pain in your elbow and it hurts not only when bending it but also extending it, click here to read my post on what this could be a sign of.
Here are 4 possible reasons that you will want to consider and investigate further.
1) Golfers Elbow
Do not let the name fool you or completely write off this possibility.
You do not need to play the sport to suffer from golfers elbow.
It almost needs repeating as the majority of people are mislead by the name and immediately rule it out because they do not play golf.
Perhaps you do not play golf either but…
Here is what you must understand!
If you perform activities, tasks and movements on a daily basis, whether it is required for your job or it is a sport/hobby after work, you are at high risk of suffering a golfers elbow injury.
The repetitive nature of holding an object in your hand combined with an up and down, constant squeezing/gripping or swing movement can overtime causes your flexor tendon which attaches at the inner part of your elbow, to become inflamed and swollen.
So you are probably wondering how can I be sure that I have golfers elbow and not something else?
When you have pain, tenderness and inflammation on the inside of your elbow, then it is most likely golfers elbow that you have.
Another quick check to be absolutely certain is to lift something with your palms up.
So scope something up with your hands under it and see if you have pain on the inner part of your elbow.
2) Broken Elbow
I am sure suffering a broken bone is not pleasant.
I have been fortunate enough as to never have broken a bone.
But from what I hear, it is quite painful.
So how do you know if you have broken or fractured your elbow?
The first obvious thing to consider …
Have you recently fallen or struck your elbow on a hard surface?
If you have, I am sure you will have remembered.
You most likely would have some bruising and inflammation around your elbow.
Perhaps you were playing a sport where you had to reach out to catch a ball and somehow ended up extending your elbow?
As we have already learned, your elbow is made up of 3 bones.
So a broken elbow can mean you have broken one of these 3 bones or even 2 of them.
In the absolute worse case, you have broken all 3 but if you did, you most likely would be reading this article from your hospital bed – sorry.
Things to consider:
- does bending your elbow cause an increase in elbow pain
- are there signs of inflammation and swelling
- has your elbow`s range of motion decreased
- so you sometimes experience numbing sensations in your fingers, wrist or hand
To be 100% certain that you have broken your elbow, you will need to visit your Doctor or hospital where an x-ray can be performed on your affected elbow.
If it is broken, a long road of rehab is in front of you, along with wearing a cast on your arm for a minimum of 3 weeks depending in the severity of your fracture.
Once your cast has been removed, you will need to start exercise rehab in order to get the strength back in your arm.
The proper medical term is olecranon bursitis.
What is bursitis of the elbow and how do you resolve it?
You will notice a big, puffy area on the back of your elbow.
It is most common in people who are constantly putting pressure on the back of their elbow.
It is common in truck drivers or sales people who are constantly resting their elbow up against the window.
Another high risk group would be students and people who sit at a desk all day long.
These people tend to spend a large proportion of their day resting their elbows on a hard desk surface.
This puts them at high risk of developing elbow bursitis.
The constant on the back of the elbow irritates a small sac that sits at the back of your elbow called the bursa.
As a result, the sac becomes inflamed from the constant pressure.
You will start to notice a large bump developing but it may not be painful to the touch in it`s early stages.
As for treatment, you can try wearing an elbow pad when you resting your elbow on a hard surface.
Your Doctor may recommend a cortisone injection to help decrease the inflammation and accelerate your healing and recovery time.
4) Tennis elbow
So here we are at the fourth and last possible reason as to why bending your elbow is causing you pain and discomfort.
The proper medical term for tennis elbow is lateral epicondylitis.
And just like his partner in crime, golfers elbow, you do not have to play tennis to be diagnosed with tennis elbow.
If you have tennis elbow, you will immediately notice that you have pain on the outside of your elbow that gets worse when you grip, squeeze or twist an object.
The outer part of your elbow will be tender to the touch.
Simple movements such as twisting the lid off a jar of jam, carrying grocery bags or even opening the fridge door can cause severe elbow pain.
So what exactly happens inside your elbow when you suffer a tennis elbow injury?
Without getting too medical, your extensor tendon which attaches at your elbow begins to develop small tears.
Overtime, these tears can get larger and you will notice swelling and inflammation on the outside of your elbow.
Again, like golfers elbow, tennis elbow is a repetitive strain injury.
So it is not an injury that comes on all of a sudden or you wake up one morning and you are stricken with tennis elbow.
It simply does not happen that way.
To be blunt – it never just pops out of no where and you suddenly realize you have tennis elbow.
It has never happened to anyone and it will not happen to you.
Because you would be the first!
Think of activities and movements that involve repetitive extending of your wrist.
Jobs such as chefs, carpenters, plumbers, dentists, factory workers, computer programmers, postal workers, painters, hair dressers, gardeners, racket sport players, etc.
Basically anyone who works with their hands day in and day out and the largest part of the day involves holding an object in their hand and performing a repetitive movement to accomplish a task or goal.
The most common signs of tennis elbow include pain on the outside of the elbow, tenderness or burning on the outside of elbow, increase in elbow pain when extending your wrist, pain that gets worse when gripping or squeezing,
Now here`s the thing …
Millions of people just like you develop tennis elbow every year …
And it is on the rise!
Over ninety-five percent of the people who get it, never ever even swung a tennis racket in their life.
Can you believe that!
And want to know the worst part …
Individuals just like you go on suffering because they think the only way to treat and recover from tennis elbow is with going under the knife with expensive surgery or spending hundreds or thousands of dollars going back and forth to Specialist or Doctors – without even as much as a guarantee that the treatment will work.
Well I am here to tell you that is absolutely not true.
Because there is a much more simpler, tried, tested and proven, step-by-step treatment system that has been implemented successfully on over 187, 345 individuals…
And want to know the best part!
The secret to this proven blueprint formula is that you do not have to spend a dime to get started because …
Everything you need to get started, you have already at home.
How great is that.
I bet you are excited to put this 5 step program to the test.
Am I right?
Well simply click on the button below, where an instructional video will show you just how easy it is to cure and treat your tennis elbow at home – for free!