Our elbow and forearm area of the upper extremities are prone to overuse injuries due to sports or occupational stress. Overuse injury in the elbow and forearm is quite common among golfers and baseball players as well. Overuse of the elbow and the forearm can be caused by repetitive elbow flexion-extension or wrist motion. Because of the intricate anatomy of the elbow and the forearm, there could be various causes for the injury. Though predominantly seen in sportspersons, the injury is also very common amongst people who indulge in throwing or arm stretching as a part of their profession such as assembly line workers or skilled labourers. Another way in which a person can begin to be effected by this type of overuse injury is the office worker, that types rapidly throughout the day.
Various Elbow and Forearm injuries
Our elbow alone is composed of three articulations, two ligament complexes, four muscle groups and three major nerves. Repetitive stress to the elbow and the forearm can cause multiple types of injuries which include:
1. Biceps tendinosis
This is an injury generally caused by microtrauma to the elbow which gradually develops into tendinosis as it is never allowed to heal. Repetitive elbow flexion (bending) or forearm supination (rotation of forearm so that palm faces upwards) can be responsible for the development of the injury.
2. Pronator Syndrome
The median nerve that passes through our forearm can get compressed at multiple sites causing the pronator syndrome. This nerve entrapment generally occurs at the head of the pronator muscle in the arm as it gets hypertrophied (enlarged).
3. Anterior capsule strain
Repetitive extension of the of the elbow causes strain the anterior capsule and inflammation of the brachialis muscle in the upper arm. This overuse injury causes minimal pain in the beginning but progresses slowly.
When indulging in a recreational sport, or working through your daily office activities make sure that you don’t over exert your arm and stay away from overuse injuries.