Gym Junkie's Elbow: Tendon Compression by Chris Mallac

A quick shout out to the crew I taught recently at the amazing new MeFitPro facility in Dubai... 10 brave learning souls joining together from Kuwait, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai - having so much fun learning for the 3-day Rehab Essentials! 

Hi guys and love your laughter and hard work :)

Anyway, from India today I wanted to hand you over to one of my ‘mates’, one of the world’s best Sports Physiotherapists, our top Educator at Rehab Trainer, the "Sports Injury Dr" himself - Chris Mallac!

Some of what he has recently talked about really relates to why strengthening the Supinator muscle is so important for lateral elbow pain...

Tendon Compression

He wrote about some ideas that may be considered "new" in the management and understanding of tendon injuries, such as the Common Extensor Tendon of the elbow (the common site of Tennis Elbow). He writes:

      From the plethora of research that has emerged on tendon injuries and the management of these injuries, one concept that has gained considerable traction recently is the influence of compression on tendon pathology.
 
It is now believed that a combination of tendon compression with tendon tensile load has a large bearing on the development of tendon pathology.

Other forces such as torsion and shear have been mentioned, however the role of these forces is still relatively unknown. We know that tendons can be subjected to compression zones and these tend to correlate very well to the site of tendon pathology.

The simplest way to explain this so the Rehab Trainer or Practitioner is aware of how compression interacts is to look at individual tendons in a case by case basis.
 
1. Wrist extensor tendons. These are the tendons that are implicated in "tennis elbow". The site of pain and pathology is the common extensor origin on the lateral epicondyle of the humerus.


Breakdown of Common Extensor Tendon located at the Elbow


Site of pain and tenderness on the lateral epicondyle 
and or radial head of the elbow

When the arm is placed into a position of slight elbow flexion and pronation, the extensor tendons are pushed into the bony ridge that forms the lateral epicondyle. This is the position of the arm when a tennis player plays a backhand shot. Hence why it is common in tennis players.

However, other occupations and sports that may create this position and thus compression zone are hairdressers (the way they hold scissors to cut hair), carpenters (the way they hold power saws and hammers) and body builders who do lots of lateral dumbbell raises.
 
The other site of compression can be the head of the radius. If the arm is elbow flexed and pronated, the radial head rotates and can push against the extensor tendons."

Next week we will move to another part of the body to discuss how Tendon Compression may be a part of why is suffers injury - 6 in total!

All the best and keep eccentrically strengthening the Supinator muscle with minimum pain!

Take care

Ulrik signing off from Mumbai ;)


 

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