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Understanding the Basics of Elbow Tendons and Ligaments

Do you ever wonder about the build quality of the human body, especially joints like elbows, knees, and shoulders? How do these joints work so flawlessly, and how do they allow us to move around to do day-to-day tasks? For all of the curious ones out there, today, we’ll be taking a closer look at the elbow joint. The anatomy of the elbow joint consists of a complex network of tendons and ligaments in the elbow. This network supports the arm bones and allows us to move our arms normally. It connects everything from the bicep and triceps muscles to the radius and ulna bones in our forearms. Thus making it one of the most crucial joints in our body. 

 Despite its importance, most people ignore the elbow joint until they injure it and it starts to hurt. Injury to the elbow joint is common in sports and strenuous activities. When elbow ligaments and tendons tear, they cause immense pain. Sometimes, surgery to heal these tears is inevitable. But most of us aren’t willing or can not simply go through surgery. This may be due to allergic reactions to anesthesia or due to fear. Other factors also include medical conditions or the intake of blood-thinning medications. All these reasons contribute to being unable to undergo surgery. But then, what can we do about the piercing pain in our elbow? 

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Luckily, there’s one solution to fix the tears and damage to elbow tendons and ligaments. Jersey Joint, Spine, & Regen understands the need for non-surgical procedures. Thus, they provide a wide range of minimally invasive medical procedures. Ranging from regenerative medicine to PRP therapies and physiotherapy. This allows the elbow joint to heal quicker and lessens the pain intensity.

So, without further ado, let’s learn the basic arm anatomy to understand how it works better!

The Anatomy of the Elbow Joint

The first step in staying ahead of injuries is to understand the build of the elbow joint. Three bones connect at this joint: the Humerus, the Radius, and the Ulna. The tendons and ligaments of the elbow keep these bones in place. Thus allowing you to move around your arm easily. 

What Are Elbow Tendons?

Tendons are bands of tissues that connect the muscles to the bones. So when the muscles contract or relax, they move the bone and the joint. The muscles of the elbow that help move this joint are the biceps, triceps, and forearm muscles. The brain controls the contraction and relaxation of these muscles through nerve signals. 

What Are Elbow Ligaments?

On the other hand, ligaments are bands of tissues that connect the bones to other bones. This is especially important when the bones meet, forming a joint. Moreover, they keep the bones stable and prevent them from dislocating. If you have a medical condition that weakens ligaments. Then, you’ll often face joint displacements. Many ligaments in the elbow help keep your bones in place. They include the radial and ulnar collateral ligaments: UCL and RCL. One of the most common ligament injuries is a UCL tear. 

Now that we know the basics of elbow anatomy, it’s time to dive deeper into our study. Next, we’ll learn some of the most common injuries to the elbow. 

You may also read: All You Need to Know About Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Common Injuries to Elbow Tendons and Ligaments

Although the elbow joint tendons and ligaments are strong and sturdy. They are still prone to multiple injuries if they are weak. Many athletes and people in high-impact activities suffer from these injuries. This is mainly due to repetitive exposure to stress in the joint. This stress, in turn, leads to injuries, including swelling, tears, and stiffness. 

Tendon Injuries

Two of the most common injuries to the elbow tendon include tendinitis and tendinosis. These injuries happen due to aging, trauma, and overuse of the elbow tendon. Tendinitis is when the tendon swells and hurts. This can be due to doing straining movements repeatedly or forceful use of the elbow. On the other hand, tendinosis occurs over time due to the overuse of the tendon. This develops micro tears inside the tendon, which causes tissue degeneration. These micro tears also change the structure of the tendon, causing it to lose most of its functionality. 

Ligament Injuries

The most common ligament injuries are sprains and tears. These can occur during exercise or an accident. Sudden trauma is the biggest reason for elbow ligament injuries. Moreover, excessive stretching and stress may also cause injury to your ligaments. One of the most common injuries in athletes is the ulnar collateral ligament, or UCL. It happens in athletes who play sports that involve throwing. This injury is famous as the pitcher’s elbow amongst athletes. This mostly affects baseball players. 

Knowing the common injuries is important in taking the first steps in diagnosing the reason for your pain. Then, you’ll be able to find the right doctor to treat your pain. Now, it’s time to learn the symptoms of elbow ligament and tendon injuries. 

You may also read: How Does Soft Tissue Manipulation Therapy Work?

How to Diagnose Elbow Tendons and Ligaments Issue

Many of us find it difficult to find the right doctor to treat our pain. Thus, they end up suffering from pain for a longer time. To cut down on this lost time, it is important to know which doctor is right for your pain treatment. And the way to find the right doctor is through understanding your condition. Thus, you should know the symptoms and should be able to diagnose the condition you’re suffering from. The first step in diagnosis is to identify any discomfort or loss of function in the elbow joint. The most easy-to-tell injuries are the ones that happen due to trauma. 

Other injuries, mostly degenerative ones, occur over time. Thus, it is difficult to identify these symptoms on time. So, look out for any pain, reduction in motion, swelling, and instability. When you start to feel like your joint isn’t moving like before, then you should know that there’s some problem. To learn about your symptoms and conditions more accurately, you can turn to a medical diagnosis. This includes medical imaging such as X-rays, ultrasounds, and MRIs. This will help you and your medical examiner determine your condition more accurately. Thus leading to a better elbow treatment plan to alleviate your condition. 

How to Treat Elbow Tendons and Ligaments Pain

Treading elbow ligament and tendon injuries varies from case to case. Every condition has a different treatment, but today, we’ll learn about the most common. If you’re looking for specific treatments, then you can visit Jersey Joint, Spine, & Regen’s treatment section

The most common non-surgical treatments are resting, icing, compressing, and elevating. This treatment regimen is also famous as RICE. This is the first line of action for treating minor or moderate elbow injuries. Moreover, your doctor may suggest physical therapy and prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs. 

If the injury to your elbow is severe, then there is a different line of action. If heavy medication is unable to ease the pain and your condition is degenerative. Then, your doctor may suggest surgical procedures to ease your pain. This includes ligament reconstruction, tendon repair, and elbow arthroplasty surgeries. Every treatment caters to different conditions and pains. 

Moreover, post-surgery pain and joint stiffness are common. To deal with this, your doctor may suggest chiropractic care and physical therapy. These will help restore function and mobility so you can use your joints like before. 

Exercises for Rehabilitating Elbow Injuries

Physical therapy, rehab, and exercise play important roles in healing the hinge joint of the elbow. They also help with recovery from surgeries. Physical therapy aims to improve the flexibility, strength, and function of your joints. The intensity of these therapies increases over time to help your joint recover. So make sure never to forget physical therapy when it comes to restoring joint function. If you’re looking for good physical therapists in Marlboro and Matawan. Then, we suggest you for our physical therapy and rehab service.  This will not only help revive your joint function but also save you from joint injuries. 

You may also read: What is the Difference between Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation?

How to Prevent Elbow Injuries

Now, we know the basics of identifying injury and treating it. But the best case will be that you don’t get yourself into such a painful situation. Luckily, there are a few steps that can help you avoid elbow joint injuries. The top way to make sure that you don’t injure your elbow joint is to stay physically fit. This doesn’t mean that you start to bulk up right away. The key is to keep a healthy body and a healthy mind through healthy eating and strength training. This trick will keep your joints and muscles firm and healthy for a longer time. Moreover, educate yourself and others about joint fitness. The more you learn, the better you can take care of your joints and lead a healthy life. This tactic also helps keep you away from tendon and ligament degenerative conditions. 

Key Takeaways

Understanding the complex network of tendons and ligaments in your elbow is important. This not only informs you of the dangers of misuse but also helps you care for them correctly. And even if you come across an injury, you’ll be able to look after it in the right way. This information also helps you spot the symptoms at the right time. Thus allowing you to act quickly and keep your joints from more damage. Make sure to take all actions necessary to keep your joints from suffering. But if, unfortunately, your joints ache, then there’s only one solution. Visit Jersey Joint, Spine, & Regen in Marlboro and Matawan. Jersey JSR is home to the best pain doctors in town, so visit their clinic or their website online today!

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