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Trigger Point Therapy - Climber's Elbow

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Triceps Trigger Points - Commonly Associated With Elbow Pain 

 

You don't need to be a climber to suffer from climber's elbow

Climber’s Elbow (medial epicondylitis apophysitis) is a condition that causes pain and inflammation in the tendons that connect the elbow to the forearm.

It occurs around the bony bump on the inner side of your elbow. The pain may also be felt into the forearm and wrist.

 

Climber's Elbow Trigger Points

 

Climber’s Elbow will usually develop as a result of overuse to the muscles in the forearm that enable rotation of the arm, flexion of the wrist, and to grip with the hand.

By repeatedly effecting the same arm movement (typically associated with climbing), considerable stress is placed on the related muscles, tendons, and joints.

This over time can cause injury from tiny tears in the tendons.

Elbow Pain Treatment Trigger Points

Squeezing a ball as shown is a simple exercise that may provide some relief

 

What Are the Symptoms of Climber’s Elbow?

In most cases, the pain develops slowly and gradually over weeks and months in the elbow area. It is less common for the symptoms to occur suddenly.

The client may feel stiffness in the elbow and it may be painful to make a fist.

Pain and tenderness will be felt on the inner side of the elbow and sometimes the forearm too.

Some will also experience numbness and tingling, often into the 4th and 5th fingers. The hand and wrist may feel weaker too.

The pain can be anything from mild discomfort to severe, and it will commonly affect sleep. It is noticeable that the pain will increase when forcibly trying to stabilize or move the wrist.

In most cases, the pain will feel worse when:

• shaking hands
• using tools
• gripping objects e.g. cutlery, pen, computer mouse

• fully extending your arm
• turning a door knob
• lifting

Who Is Prone to Climber’s Elbow?

Climber’s Elbow affects around 1-3 percent of the general population.

Studies have shown that pain on the medial epicondyle (Climber’s Elbow) is about twice as common in men than women, and that sufferers tend to be between the ages of 35 and 50.

Older people tend to be more prone due to the continuous repetitive movements over time leading to wear and tear of the tendons.

It's not just climbers who suffer from this condition.

Anyone who participates in activities that require repetitive and vigorous use of the forearm muscle, especially while gripping something, are more susceptible.

We often see this condition develop in cooks, gardeners, assembly-line workers, and people who play sports such as baseball and football.

 

Self Treatment Trigger Points Elbow

Flexor Stretch can be useful for Climber's Elbow 

 

Differential Diagnosis - What Else Could It Be?

Here is a list of some other conditions which can mimic a Climber’s Elbow:

• Trauma (fracture)
• Problems with the radial head of the radius bone at the elbow joint
• Injury to the ulnar nerve (radial tunnel syndrome)
• Problems with the discs in the neck C6/7 neuropathy (cervical disc)

• Dysfunction to the triangular articular cartilage disc at the wrist
• Osteoarthritis of the inner side of the elbow joint
• Ulnar collateral ligament injury
• Cubital tunnel syndrome (ulnar nerve compression syndrome)
• Guvon’s canal syndrome (ulnar nerve compression syndrome)
• Golfer’s Elbow

Wrist Flexor Muscles Trigger Points

Exercising the Flexor Muscles - using a light weight (or can of food) - to aid rehabilitation and possibly help dissipate trigger points as part of some treatment protocols.

 

Trigger Point Therapy

There are well established trigger point treatment protocols that can be very effective for most cases.

Generally when treating climber's elbow, we look for trigger points in pronator teres, flexors, palmaris longus, and the triceps (medial head).

For best results, these trigger points are treated with compression techniques in combination with strengthening and stretching exercises.

Your therapist may also advise on certain required lifestyle changes.

 

Links

Find a Trigger Point Professional in your area

More Articles About Trigger Points

More Articles About Elbow Pain

Articles About Tennis Elbow

Articles About Golfer's Elbow

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We are honored to have received the 2017 "Excellence in Education" Award from the National Association of Myofascial Trigger Point Therapists.

Since 1999 Niel Asher Education has won numerous awards for education and in particular for education and services provided in the field of trigger point therapy.

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Niel Asher Healthcare course instructors have won a host of prestigious awards including 2 lifetime achievement honorees - Stuart Hinds, Lifetime Achievement Honoree, AAMT, 2015, and Dr. Jonathan Kuttner, MD, Lifetime Achievement Honoree, NAMTPT, 2014.

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Since 1999 the Niel Asher Technique for treating trigger points has been adopted by over 100,000 therapists worldwide, and has been applied to the treatment of a number of common musculoskeletal injuries.

The Niel Asher Technique for treating frozen shoulder was first introduced and published in 1997 and has been widely adopted by therapists and exercise professionals working within elite sports and athletics.

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