Playing sports and being active is a part of your lifestyle— going on runs along the bay/beach, taking fitness classes, or playing a game of tennis— in order to stay healthy. For the most active athletes this normally consists of working out at least 3-4 days a week(every other day). As you continue to work out and progress, a speed bump may come along where you end up getting injured. An injury normally occurs when making an awkward movement, getting hit by someone or exhausting certain muscles and/or joints. Let's say you're an avid athlete that uses your arms a lot in a sport such as tennis, baseball or golf. The consistent motion of swinging a tennis racket, baseball bat or golf club can put tremendous stress on your elbow joint, especially if you're not taking the proper care of your elbow after each session.
In order to stay healthy, post-workout recovery is an equally important—if not, more important—phase that has seen a lot of attention in the health and fitness realm. If you're not taking care of yourself after each workout such stretching and using the RICE technique, an injury is bound to happen when beating on your body. Let's compare your body to a car, a sports car for that matter because of course you don't want to compare your athletic abilities to that of a soccer-mom van. If you're driving your sports car on a daily basis for long periods of time, your car requires proper maintenance to keep it running for a long time. If you're driving your car like you stole it or think you're on a race track, your car will eventually break down, snapping your suspension system(similar to your joints and ligaments) in half. This is what can happen to your elbow joint from overuse without taking care of it. One way to help strengthen and support your elbow is with the Enerskin Elbow Sleeve, but we'll discuss that later. The common types of aches and pains felt around your elbow are from a sprain, bursitis, fracture, tennis elbow or golfer's elbow:
- Spraining your elbow ranges from stretching or tearing a ligament with multiple tears potentially happening. Hyperextending or jamming your elbow is the most common cause. The extent of the injury can be based on how much the ligament was stretched or how much of the ligament was torn and if more than one ligament was involved. Like all sprains, recommended treatments consist of using the RICE technique, immobilizing your elbow, and taking pain medications is the route of treatment.
- Bursitis of the elbow is known as "Olecranon bursitis which occurs from an injury or disease such as gout or rheumatoid arthritis, and the possibility of an infection. Another major cause is prolonged pressure to the tip of the elbow. This type of injury is associated with the tip of your elbow having visible swelling.
- A fracture of the elbow is pretty straight forward—a crack or break of the bones associated with the elbow joint. This fracture can be excruciating with sharp pain through the elbow. Just like other fractures and breaks, diagnosis requires an X-ray, then a cast to immobilize the fractured elbow to heal over time.
Tennis Elbow(Lateral epicondylitis)
- The lateral epicondyle is the bony portion of your elbow where large tendons attach to the outside of your elbow from muscles of your forearm. Tennis players are one of the most common athletes to injure this tendon, but can also happen from simple at-home chores. Any time this tendon is being exhausted, it can cause swelling and inflammation which pain subsequently follows that feels warm and tender. Range of motion is not hindered as the inner joint is not affected with pain worsening throughout the day due to overuse of your elbow over time. If you experience chronic tendinosis in this area, an X-ray may show calcium deposits in the tendon or other abnormalities of the elbow joint. Treatment for tennis elbow consists of using the RICE( rice, ice, compression, elevation) method, anti-inflammatory pain meds, bracing and cortisone injections. If the injury is too severe, surgery may be necessary.
Golfer's Elbow (Medial epicondylitis)
- Medial epicondylitis is inflammation at the point where the tendons of the forearm attach to the bony prominence of the inner elbow. As an example, this tendon can become strained in a golf swing, but many other repetitive motions can injure the tendon. Golfer's elbow is characterized by local pain and tenderness over the inner elbow. The range of motion of the elbow is preserved because the inner joint of the elbow is not affected. Those activities which require twisting or straining the forearm tendon can elicit pain and worsen the condition. X-rays for epicondylitis are usually normal but can indicate calcifications of the tendons if the tendinosis has persisted for extended periods of time. The usual treatment involves combinations of ice packs, resting the elbow, and medications including aspirin and other NSAIDs. With severe inflammation, local corticosteroid (cortisone) injections are sometimes given. Using a strap can prevent reinjury. After a gradual rehabilitation exercise program, return to usual activity is best accompanied by ice applications after use. This helps to avoid recurrent inflammation.
What Happens if You Tear Something in Your Elbow?
First, you will need to see your physician in order to have an idea of what the diagnosis may be. Afterward, you will be scheduled for an MRI(magnetic resonance imaging) so that your doctors can see which ligaments/tendons of your elbow may be torn. Next comes surgery, which is normally done arthroscopically to cut, remove and repair the surrounding area. The most common sports-related surgeries done to the elbow are for tennis elbow, golfer's elbow and Tommy John's(baseball) surgery. Then begins the most daunting task of all—physical therapy. Regaining full range of motion and strength requires a rigorous 3-6 months of visiting your physical therapist on a daily basis rehabilitating your elbow at least 3x a day. If that last sentenced wasn't enough of a scare and reality check to take care of your elbow, feel free to see what your elbow would look like in the surgery room in the video below:
The Benefits of Enerskin Elbow Sleeve to Help Prevent an Injury and More:
- Reduces pain, swelling and inflammation. Speed your elbow's recovery through our tight, form-fitting compression.
- Increases blood flow. Keep your elbow warm, relaxed and lubricated.
- Prevents muscle oscillation. When you're actively moving your arm around it causes vibrations which can affect your stamina due to the unnecessary expulsion of energy.
- Support and protection. Regain confidence with how your elbow functions.
As you can see by the vast array of benefits the Enerskin Elbow Sleeve can do for your elbow to prevent you from making the unwanted trip for surgery because let's face it, 3-6 months can feel like an eternity when you can't play a sport you love or even do basic daily activities like picking up groceries. Enerskin's patented technology is unlike anything ever seen—or felt—before with fused taping system onto high-performance sports compression. Our patented taping technology is extremely comfortable, supportive and agile. Our taping system is fused onto our state-of-the-art compression fabric, GASTEX, which is unique to only Enerskin. These two innovative sports technologies combined provide compression and support that is sure to make you feel superhuman. So, would you rather risk tearing a tendon or risk feeling like a superhuman with Enerskin Elbow Sleeve?