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I've never practised any of these sports, and yet I'm in pain
Very often, our patients report elbow pain that is not caused by an injury. If you probe further, you will often find overuse, for example, due to extra renovation work, professional activity, or a busy weekend spent on gardening. The so-called tennis or golfer's elbow does not need to have any direct relation to these sports. However, they are one of the possible causes.
Pain is caused by inflammation due to overuse of forearm muscles and tendon insertions. Inflammation may become chronic and progress, causing damage to the tendon.
The treatment consists of reducing the load, even if this is difficult to do for professional reasons. Stretching the affected muscles and tendons is an important building block. It should be done several times a day. Special bandages help improve blood circulation and reduce tendon swelling. This part requires a little patience, but in most cases it is all that is needed.
If there is no improvement, an injection can be made at the tendon base. However, this procedure also carries certain risks, such as discolouration of the skin, damage to the tendon and subcutaneous fat, and an infection. In order to avoid injecting cortisone, a few millilitres of patient's own blood can be processed into platelet-rich plasma (PRP). This can be injected into the affected area. An alternative would be focused, high-energy shockwave therapy - a smart treatment without chemicals, radiation, or surgery.
For pain treatment, we offer both Chinesebody acupuncture and special ear acupuncture, either as standalone treatments, or in addition to the conservative measures.
In special cases, X-ray irradiation with a radiotherapist may help improve symptoms.
If conservative measures do not work, the surgery may be considered.
When every movement is painful
If the cartilage covering is damaged, the friction increases causing pain. At first, there is pain in the elbow or around the joint bone. Later on, there are rubbing and cracking noises, and the joint pops out when moving. Moving, especially stretching, is difficult. Exercising hurts and the elbow joint swells. Sometimes the skin surrounding the knee feels really hot. The causes are diverse and range from injuries and congenital malformations to overuse in sport, everyday life, and work. Many symptoms may appear at the same time or alone:
- from mild uncomfortable pressure to severe and piercing pain.
- Pain may be present at rest, with light exercise, or only when practising heavy sports.
- Feeling of pressure and tension.
- Swelling, overheating, and a sensation of warmth.
- Blockages, entrapment, snapping, clicking, rubbing.
We can offer various treatment options and tailor them precisely to the individual patient (such as plasma therapy, hyaluronic acid, injections, kinesio tape, cartilage smoothing, microfracture, or cartilage transplantation).
Unpleasant swelling of the elbow
Overusing the bursa may cause swelling and inflammation of the synovial bursa at the back of the elbow. This may occur after irritation, for example due to unusual renovation work, professional activity, or a busy weekend with gardening. Supporting the elbow while working, for example, may also cause irritation. Our patients then report swelling of the elbow, redness, feeling of warmth, and restricted movement. Usually, it is sufficient to immobilise the limb for a week while taking anti-inflammatory medication (ibuprofen and diclofenac, for example). Occasionally, it may be necessary to puncture the swelling using a syringe and to aspirate the fluid. In case of recurring or persistent complaints, minimally invasive surgery (endoscopy) may be used to remove the synovial bursa.