This is one of my favourite health topics to write about. Here you’ll find loads about how to fix a pinched nerve. There is tons of information about the symptoms, causes and the various treatment options available. Learn more about the specific areas affected like the cervical or lumbar spine, the shoulder, hip, elbow or leg.
Did you know that pain on the inside of the elbow might be something called golfers elbow?
The strange part is it isn’t only golfers who are looking for treatment of the condition.
Affecting thousands of golfers every year, golfer’s elbow can be extremely frustrating and debilitating if left untreated.
The injury is not just limited to golf players though, many tennis players, baseball players, squash and badminton players also suffer from the problem.
To help you understand the injury better and how best to treat it, I have outlined all you need to know below about golfer’s elbow.
What is Golfer’s Elbow?
Golfers elbow is medically known as medial epicondylitis or medial epicondylalgia.
It is a common condition in which pain develops on the inside (medial aspect) of a person’s elbow. It is a tendinopathy of the origin of the flexor/pronator tendons at the elbow. If severe, the pain can sometimes extends down the forearm and into the person’s wrist.
The injury is very similar to that of tennis elbow whereas in that case the pain is felt on the outside (lateral aspect) of the elbow instead.
The pain is caused by micro-tears to specific elbow tendons.
This occurs in either the tenoperiosteal junction (tendon to bone attachment) or the musculotendinous junction (muscle to tendon attachment). Painful inflammation of the affected tendons is the result and this can cause many golfers to stop altogether when not treated properly.
Since the soft tissue injury is classified as a tendonpathy, that means it can include tendonitis (inflammation) or tendonosis (degeneration) of the tendons.
The ICD 10 code is M77.0 for medical insurance billing purposes.
Symptoms of Golfer’s Elbow
The symptoms of golfer’s elbow are fairly specific. So you, or your chiropractor, should have no trouble in diagnosing the issue.
Common symptoms that sufferers describe can include:
Pain, bruised feeling, or tenderness to touch on the bony prominence on the inside of your elbow.
The elbow pain typically worsens with certain movements of the wrist, fingers or arm like gripping.
Your elbow may possibly feel stiff on bending it.
It might be painful to make a clenched fist.
Weakness in the hands or wrists joints when active.
Numbness or tingling. Although not as common, numbness or tingling is often felt in one or more fingers when active.
Remember, the pain from golfers elbow is not just restricted to playing golf or racket sports.
Paul Bradshaw, ex-PGA pro and Editor-in-chief at Golf Assessor told me his mistake was he played through the pain for many months, thereby extending his recovery period.
When he had the condition, he could barely lift his golf bag with his right arm, even before he hit a ball. Certain movements would may bring on the pain suddenly such as lifting, twisting, hitting, shaking etc…
If you feel the pain start, you need to stop what you’re doing immediately!
Causes of Golfer’s Elbow
Example of a Non-Overlapping Baseball Grip in Golf
As the name suggests, golf is certainly one of the major causes of golfer’s elbow due to the stress the elbow tendons are put under through each swing, particularly if a non-overlapping (baseball style) grip is used.
Poor technique is certainly one of the factors as a smooth, compact swing will always be less stressful upon your elbow.
However, many people develop golfer’s elbow having never played the game.
The damage upon the tendons is generally related to excess or repeated stress. The inital cause of the damage is generally linked to excess, or repeated, stress through forceful wrist and finger motions.
This can be caused by repetitive motions such as:
Improper hitting a ball.
Failing to warm up (and cool down) correctly can also have a major impact upon developing the condition. Weight training and climbing are two examples where warm-up technique is key.
The easiest way to test is through a simple physical examination.
Since the pain originates from the wrist flexor and pronator tendons then resisted wrist flexion, or pronation, muscle testing can reproduce the patients pain.
There is no specific named orthopaedic tests.
Palpation of anatomical landmarks can pin point the painful location over the:
The medial epicondyle of the humerus bone or,
The flexor-pronator mass.
The flexor-pronator mass is made up of these five muscles:
Flexor Carpi Radialis
Flexor Digitorum Superficialis
Flexor Carpi Ulnaris
Do you need an x-ray, MRI or ultrasound scan?
X-rays will not show the soft tissue damage, whereas an MRI can help for a chronic pain situation or for other differential diagnosis like an ulnar collateral ligament tear (a.k.a “Tommy John” ligament in baseball).
Other conditions to consider when someone has pain over the inside of the elbow include:
The pain of golfer’s elbow shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the golf course or any other activities you love.
The key though is catching it early and treating early!
A good rest period and appropriate treatment will see you back in the ‘swing’ of things in no time.
Self-Treatment at Home
#1 Rest from Activity
I know this can be hard, particularly for athletes, professional or amateur, but a period of rest from sport helps cure the issue. How long you need to stop playing depends. However, make sure you don’t rush back into the activity.
#2 Ice the Elbow.
When the tendons become torn, the area suffers acute inflammation. One of the best ways to treat this is with a good old-fashioned ice pack like this one from Amazon. You could try massage an ice cube directly over the painful area too. Make sure to ice the area at least 3-4 times per day for 15-20 minutes. Keep this up for a week & see how it feels.
#3 Try an Elbow Brace
Some people swear by the brace treatment solution. The idea of the epicondyle brace is to wear it as a counter force, thereby, taking some of the load off your elbow tendons. Be warned though, this is a not a solution to rest. This golfers elbow strap from Amazon should do the job.
#4 Pain Relievers
You can try over the counter NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories) from your local pharmacy like diclofenac sodium or ibuprofen. They can help reduce swelling and pain levels. However, this is a quick fix to cover up pain and won’t speed up healing! At times, even a cortisone injection is needed.
#5 Strengthening Exercises
This exercise is both good to do when you are in pain, but also you can use it to try prevent golfer’s elbow from happening. The Reverse Tyler Twist exercise is a good remedy for the problem. It also helps in avoiding getting it again in the future by strengthening the muscles & tendons. You can see how to do the recommended exercise in the step by step instruction video below.
Reverse Tyler Twist Exercise
This is the reverse of the same rehab exercise used to treat tennis elbow.
Consult a sport doctor for PRP injections or an orthopaedic surgeon for a corticosteroid injection
There is no getting around it, golfer’s elbow is a frustrating and painful injury that stops thousands of people from enjoying the activities they love.
With good rest from aggravating activities & proper physical therapy manual treatment though, the injury shouldn’t take you out of action for too long & help avoid any thoughts of needing elbow surgery.
Do you love gardening, but end up suffering with lower back pain or joint pain after it?
You aren’t the only avid gardener with this issue.
I get to see it often in Spring and Summer times.
A common cause of lower back pain is when people get outside to make the garden look good during nice weather days. Whilst the sun is out the urge to get out & pick out the weeds, turn the flower beds or cut back the hedges is so tempting.
It is unfortunate that too many people end up suffering, to some degree, by doing a hobby they love, like gardening. There is a kind of joy & pleasure to be had from cleaning up the back yard and making your front lawn look pristine and manicured.
Some try wait it out thinking it will be a temporary problem that will ease in a couple of days. However, more often than not you know about it for days after.
Todays goal is to find out how to keep you enjoying doing gardening chores so you can toil away at the never ending project of creating & maintaining your garden.
You should be able to do some planting, mowing, weeding, mulching, etc… In order to do so you might need to take some precautions that will help you to avoid the initial small injuries from the overworking of your lower back muscles.
Tip #1 Warm-Up Preparation is Key
Preparing for the tasks you intend to perform outside can go a long way in easing the effects of the work on your body.
First, you should remember that:
All gardening & yard activity is decent physical exercise!
You should treat it as such. Therefore, if you get back pain when working in the garden then you need to follow a warm-up routine just like you would with any gym workout.
The benefit of warming up is that your muscles & joints will work better & hopefully not get so strained and inflamed.
How to Warm-up Before Gardening Tips
Here are three simple steps to take before you start gardening.
1. Do Light Exercise
Try a light stroll to get moving
Lighter exercises & movements are best prior to any activity.
What you are trying to achieve is getting warm blood pumping through cold muscles. Not only that, but getting your brain working and the nerves firing to muscle you need to use for the activities to be done.
Practically, this means doing a quick walk around the perimeter of the lawn (use this time to think of what task to do first), jogging on the spot on the grass or a compost heap, a brief cycle on a stationary bike etc…
2. Do Dynamic Stretching
Avoid static stretching
I did my year long research study on benefits & risks of stretching back in 2003. What I discovered was don’t do bounce stretches (a.k.a ballistic stretching); this actually harms the muscles. I prefer gentle dynamic stretches.
An example for the lower back region would be standing & leaning back into your lower back then stand upright again. This bending backwards will help motion the lumbar spine joints into extension which they like. Then I would do some slow, controlled flexion moves trying to touch my toes then rolling my spine back up to an upright position.
An example for your neck, upper back & shoulders I would slowly rotate the neck side to side within comfort range. Then do some of these chin tuck rehab movements. For the shoulders do some internal and external rotation movements. This is as simple as having your arms hanging by your side and turning the hands so you see the palms then turn them over to face behind you.
3. Stay Hydrated
Drink some natural flavoured water
Dehydration is a real issue many adults have. Do you just drink cups of tea or coffee instead & had no water today? Being properly hydrated allows our muscles to function properly.
Remember, when you are digging away at a soil bed or ripping out weeds you’re are sweating too. Perspiration means a loss of water and minerals which can lead to muscle cramping & spasms.
Prior to beginning your outdoor tasks, drink an entire glass of water to assure that you start out hydrated. Then, fill a water bottle to carry with you outside so you can continue to easily & conveniently maintain hydration levels throughout your chores. If you are outside for long periods of time, take breaks to refill so you are never out of water.
Now lets move on to what to do when you are doing the jobs outside that need doing.
Tip #2 Proper Bending, Lifting & Posture
General poor posture and improper lifting techniques are two common biomechanical issues for most people. They are also two of the most common ways that cause people to injure themselves.
Poor movement habits leads to fatigue on the joints, discs and muscles around the spine. Moving more efficiently will help you to prevent the fatigue problem & avoid severe back pain episode.
How to Bend & Move Better During Gardening Tips
Bend From Your Hips, Not Your Back – Have you read how to do a hip hinge yet? Learning how to bend over using your hip joints rather than the small lumbar facet joints will save your back.
Lift with Your Legs – I’m a fan of knowing how to squat to lift. Bending at the knees to go down into a squat position helps to spread the load over all the correct joints form your ankles to your knees to your hip and pelvis. You’ll end up taking the weight with your gluts and thighs; muscles that are much tougher & better prepared to handle loads and compression forces.
Don’t Lean Forward Over Your Lawn Mower – Try keep a straight back with good posture when pushing a mower. This is to avoid undue stress on your lower back from slumping for long periods, especially when pushing and pulling repeatedly. (Did something called flexion intolerance in the lumbar spine is the cause of this kind of pain?)
Don’t Weed Standing Up – This leads to bending over again and again. Most people can’t be in a bent forward position for long without straining their back muscles. Instead, kneel on a garden mat or find a small stool to sit on to do the job, and keep all your tools within arm’s reach so you aren’t stretching too far to grab them. (See the recommended gardening tools section below)
Try Rake & Hoe with Both Hands, Not Just the Dominant Side – When you rely only on your dominant side, you are using your muscles in an uneven fashion. This can cause an overuse injury to one side. Overcompensation might occur to try ease the strain tired side. Try digging at times by holding a handle with two vs one hand only.
Change Your Motions by Switching Activities – If you are out in pottering in your garden every day, do a different activity every day. Th goal is to give your muscles time to rest; so you don’t get an repetitive strain injury. Just as you would rotate training muscle groups on different workout days at the gym. If you’re outside once a week, make sure to designate a certain amount of time to several different tasks so that you aren’t performing the same repetitive motions for long periods of time.
Tip #3 Back-Friendly Gardening Products
Blame the tool not the user, or is the saying the other way round 🙂
Seriously though, using the right type of equipment & gardening tools can make you life so much easier & much less stressful on your system.
For someone who is wants to enjoy planting colourful flowers each season or cut the grass so it looks like Lords cricket ground, I feel another important element is buying products to make the task & your life easier.
Best Ergonomic Gardening Tools to Avoid Back Pain
Half-Height Wellies – Working in a wet potentially muddy environment you need waterproof shoes. However, full length wellies can bee very restrictive in a small space compared to a farm.I would recommend using a half-height wellington boot so that you can get some more bend in your ankle. Being able to flex and extend your ankle joint is vital for bending properly & so avoiding back pain. I like the lightweight Dunlop half-height wellington boots range on Amazon.
Arch Support Inner Soles – I am a fan of using custom-made orthotics to manage back pain. I’d suggest investing in a good off the shelf pair at a minimum. Especially if you are going to be working for extended periods of time in your lawn.Wear these cushioned soles & arch supports in your supportive shoes or wellies. This will help reduce the impact of the ground on your back muscles. I would highly recommend the Birkenstock Blue Footbed-Arch Support 3/4 length option available on Amazon, I personally loved my old ones.
Kneeling Pad & Stool – When you need to get down to do bedding of plants you need to kneel down. This can be strenuous and painful on an arthritic knee. Also tiresome on the back.Using a kneeling pad for gardening will make the job much more comfortable. I would suggest looking at getting the Gardman Folding Garden Kneeler Seat Kneeling Pad on Amazon. It not only has a padded cushion to rest your knees on; the handles make standing up again easier too. Plus this turns into a portable seat to rest on.
Retractable Garden Hose – You need to water your grass and plants of course to maintain a good looking garden. However, hoses can be a pain to unravel and get very heavy to lug around from the tap to the garden.I like the look of this UltraPro 100ft Expandable hosepipe from Scott & Co on Amazon. It has an ergonomic designed handle if you struggle with gripping (have you seen how to improve your grip strength here?). Grandmothers and grandfathers would love this as a gift.
If you do really struggle with lots of physical ailments, you shouldn’t take on all the work yourself.
Whilst you may find peace of mind planting & watering, the heavy lifting can be outsourced to someone more capable.
Think about hiring a uni or college student who needs a little extra cash. They can mow and edge your lawn for you. They can reach up hight to cut the hedge branches.
Hired help can really reduce the impact on your body, leaving the more enjoyable tasks like pruning the rose bushes or tilling the garden to you.
Don’t forget to stop and take a breather every now and then. Shorts breaks from activity are important; just like in a regular workout. It is also a time to avoid being in the sun for too long.
If you follow a few simple steps you can be fully prepared to tackle all your lawn work. Take some precautionary measures to prevent excess stress on your body related to gardening jobs. If you need some more professional help; find a chiropractor nearest to you.
When you have a sore neck it can be so frustrating not being to find good info or guidance on how to stop the pain. There are loads of ways to treat a painful neck. Exercise is still one of the best treatment tools available. Our bodies were designed to move and move properly. Bad posture habits and poor movements patterns do contribute to the cause of the ache or pain your experiencing.
Knowing how to move your neck to feel that relief you’ve been looking so hard for is what I want to show you today. Having dealt with so many patients over the years I can tell you that normally people just don’t know how to exercise the neck area. I have never heard anyone who trains at a gym telling me they do a neck workout.
Quite often a patient would come into the Chiropractic clinic and tell me they have an upper back discomfort that is causing a pain between their shoulder blades. The patient will then usually want to show me the area where their dull ache or stabbing pain is by touching my own thoracic spine. Most people can’t reach the painful area on their own backs so they need to help me to know exactly where it is hurting.
This type of patient will usually say that what they are experiencing in their upper back region can be described as: a burning ache, stabbing or a sharp pain between shoulder blades. Maybe the neck or arm is involved as well.
Today you are going to learn a lot about the symptoms of middle to upper back pain, common and serious causes for pain between shoulder blades and treatment tips for getting relief from aches and pain in-between the shoulder blades in your back today. Continue reading
Have you ever been in a situation where you have had such a stiff neck? It can happen so easily that you wake up and find you can’t move your neck properly or you’ve been working away at your computer only to find it is sore to move neck or shoulders. Maybe your neck creaks and crackles in the joints with movement and there is limited ability to turn your neck to one side or both.
Neck stiffness is very common medical condition. However, understanding what causes a stiff neck and how to fix a stiff neck is what most people want to know. The good news it can be a quick and easy resolution to your problem. That is what I aim to explain in today’s post. Neck stiffness is similar to a trapped nerve, but different at the same time. Below I will share the two most common causes, how to spot the difference between a sore throat and meningitis problem and some other hints, tips and 9 treatment tricks to help you unlock your neck again. Continue reading
I have just finished reading some hot off the press research on sciatica leg pain and low back pain out of Norway. In this study the researchers were trying to see what things they could see could cause a patient with lower back pain and sciatica to not respond well.
The authors came up with some pointers to consider if someone is suffering this trapped nerve in the leg condition. What was also interesting is that back surgery did not have an amazing success rate as they had expected it might. If you or a loved one has a trapped nerve in their back going down the back of the leg, maybe to the foot, you’ll probably like to read this article. Continue reading
Have you ever wondered should you remove those old mercury fillings in your mouth? I watched a 2008 documentary movie called “The Beautiful Truth” the other night where I got to see for the first time ever what happens when you scratch old silver fillings in teeth. Holy cow, I never realised that I could have smoking teeth!
I needed to do some online research around this health debate of changing old mercury amalgams to newer white composite fillings. I wanted to read about the pros and cons, then see some videos about this debate to hopefully help me make a decision. I wanted to know if I should take the time to find a dentist who will change my years old silver fillings for the supposedly healthier white fillings. I hope you’ll enjoy some what I have to show you that I found. I’m definitely worried about my health now after seeing my search results. The videos right at the end are fascinating to see instant differences in someone when they find a problem tooth. Continue reading
Do you have an elbow pain that you’ve been told is possibly tennis elbow?
Your confused though because you don’t play tennis yet your elbow is so sore when you try grip things. Maybe you do play tennis, or even golf, and it is stopping you from playing properly cos of the pain in your elbow.
I stumbled upon probably the easiest and most simple tennis elbow treatment to do. The best part is you can treat your elbow pain yourself at home. The exercise I’m going to let you know more about was published in a research paper in 2010, but you probably haven’t heard of it before.
Today you will learn first what is tennis elbow, the basic anatomy involved. I will let you know what is the typical conservative care and more advanced medical treatment for tennis elbow. Then find out how to do the Timothy Tyler eccentric contraction tennis elbow treatment exercise. Continue reading
Learn today about what happens when you are referred for a MRI scan or a CT scan. MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging. CT stands for computed tomography. The pdf information booklet and audio link below will tell you what happens when you are sent to have a MRI scan or a CT scan on your back or brain.
Most likely you are reading this page because you are in pain somewhere in your body or know someone who is living in pain. To understand what is pain better I found a great simple video explaining the difference between acute pain and chronic pain.
You will find out how the brain and your nerves control pain levels and the different types of pain you may experience. You will see a very simple way of explaining the basic physiology of pain. By the end of the video on pain you will also understand why treating pain can be difficult as there are many issues to sort out. Continue reading
Did you know that a major cause of bad back pain is that our lower backs do not like too much bending forward (flexion). In the medical field it is well-known that in our lower backs, the lumbar discs respond better to bending backward movements rather than bending forward. Particularly in the case of someone with a disc source of back pain.
Today I will be explaining the concept of how too much flexion in our lumbar spines is causing acute lower back pain or chronic lower back in some people. There are two great videos below. One by chiropractor, Craig Liebenson, and the second by low back pain specialist and researcher, Professor Stuart McGill. Find out how Craig, who has studied at the Prague School of Rehabilitation, teaches a female marathon runner how to fix a bad back pain, fast and for the long-term. Continue reading
I came across a video about lower back pain and sciatica today that is amazing to see the pain relief change in someone so fast. You may have heard of people hobbling into the chiropractor on crutches or being carried in by others only to walk out standing up and in less pain.
The video below shows you one of those times when a patient can come in with severe low back pain and can’t stand up straight then end up leaving the chiropractor being able to walk upright. Continue reading
Did you know your low back pain could be coming from higher up in your spine. In our bodies we experience something called referred pain. Referred pain means the area that is sore could actually be referred pain from somewhere else. This happens all the time in organs referring pain, like a heart attack pain going down your left arm.
However, there are times the answer to your back pain could be from an area in your spine known as the thoracolumbar junction (TL junction). You can get a trapped nerve in this area causing all your pain. Ever wondered which trapped nerve is causing all your back pain? Today I want to let you know about something called Maigne Syndrome or Thoracolumbar Junction Syndrome. Continue reading
Have you ever experienced low back pain when lifting a weight from the floor. Maybe it wasn’t even a weight your were lifting, you might have just been bending forward to tie your show laces or you were changing your babies nappy and you got a sudden severe low back pain.
These are times when a patient would come into the chiropractors office and ask what do you think caused my back pain to start? Well the answer can be hard at times to pinpoint but repetitive bad movement like bending and lifting incorrectly can weaken your lower back. This includes muscles, tendons, ligaments and especially the discs between your vertebrae causing a slipped disc. Today I want to show you some things you should be thinking about how to avoid low back pain when lifting or bending forward. Continue reading
So you are in pain and you want a solution. If it is any consolation it is not just you there are tons of other people from around the world who are sitting reading this article who need answers. Well you have found the right page and I want to help you solve that painful nerve somewhere in your body.
The pain of a nerve being pinched can be terrible both in how bad the pain levels are and the feeling of frustration because you just don’t know how to stop it. I hope to help guide you through this event in your life.
I’m going to start by helping you get to get a clearer picture of this common condition. Well actually that’s going to be the first part I’ll clear up for you. It’s not an actual condition, but a colloquial (informal) term for possibly a variety of problems. Continue reading
This video caught my attention with the title “How to avoid a trapped arm whilst cuddling in bed“. I knew I had to watch this video just to see what this was all about.
I have definitely experienced it and I’m sure you have. It is that feeling when you’re laying in bed snuggling or cuddling a girlfriend or wife and your arm gets trapped underneath their head. You then get a loss of feeling in the hand and arm. It is not a nice feeling at all. So watch the video below to get some tips on “How to avoid a trapped arm whilst cuddling in bed” 🙂 Continue reading
Neck injuries happen in the rugby game especially trapped nerve pain conditions. There is a trapped nerve injury that can happen called a “stinger“. A stinger injury is when damage has occurred to the major nerves leaving the neck going down into the left or right arm. Stingers are also called a “burner“.
If you saw the dangerous spear tackle Welsh rugby captain, Sam Warburton, did in the Rugby World Cup 2011 semi-final today on French player,Vincent Clerc, you can see one way a stinger injury to the neck can happen in rugby. So what nerves in the neck get trapped and what can you do to help a stinger injury.
Below I will show you the dangerous rugby spear tackle video, the anatomy, cause, symptoms and how to treat a stinger injury in your neck and arm. At the bottom I also found a leaflet you can print maybe as a coach from the North American Spine Society for an injured player. Continue reading
This post is all about one nerve. It is the most important nerve in your leg, the sciatic nerve. Have you been told that you might have sciatica pain running down the back of your thigh all the way into your calf muscle or into the ankle and foot? This is the common trapped nerve in the leg pain lots of people suffer.
You could be feeling a continuous ache or pain that starts from the time you wake up in the morning till the time you eventually fall asleep at night.
To understand the cause of sciatic nerve pain in the leg it is useful to visualise the anatomy of the sciatic nerve. Find out how this big important nerve can cause pain anywhere from the buttock (bum, gluts, hip region), the back of the thigh (hamstring region), behind the knee, along the outside of the lower leg (calf muscle region) into the ankle all the way down to your big toe in your foot. Continue reading
Do you have a pain in your left or right butt cheek? Does it feel like you have a trapped nerve in the bum? Maybe you have a sciatica pain going down your leg. Did you know you might be suffering with a bad case of piriformis syndrome? It really is a pain in the bum, excuse the pun.
There are various reasons for pain around the bum and hip region. The sciatic nerve can get trapped at the spine from a herniated disc or arthritis in the spine. The nerve could also get pinched in your buttocks by the piriformis muscle. Athletes like runners and cyclists are prone to this type of sports injury. Find out all about what is Piriformis Syndrome and what to do about it below. Continue reading
When you have a neck pain sometimes you feel like if only someone could traction my neck to take the pressure off the nerve. You might have had a physio or chiropractor do some neck traction on you and felt the difference and wanted to do that yourself at home. Today I want to look at little bit more into home cervical traction equipment and what is generally recommended if you do neck traction treatment at home. Continue reading