Do you have elbow trouble? Have you been stretching and working on all the muscles in your forearm and it isn’t getting better? It is possible it is coming from your upper back and/or rib region.
If you upper back isn’t moving properly, your shoulder needs to position itself in an undesirable position. This can cause an abnormal muscle pull on the biceps and triceps that cross the elbow and/or nerves in the neck area to be pinched, which can refer pain to the elbow.
Another common contributor is the pectoral muscles. These can get tight if you tend to sit with poor posture frequently, such as with computer or desk work. Trigger points in the pectoralis major refer to the elbow region, simulating an epicondylitis of the elbow, also known as golfer’s elbow or tennis elbow.
One other major contributor is the shoulders being internally rotated and wrists being ulnar deviated. In other, think about what happens if you are typing on a table or laptop. Most likley, your hands are further in (narrower) compared to your shoulder width. This can cause an abnormal pull in the soft tissues surrounding your elbows, causing your pain.
So how do you try to fix this? Stretch and mobilize!
- Lie on your back with a foam roller along your spine and arms out stretched. Perform “snow angels” while lying on the foam roll, trying to keep your hands on the floor. Don’t have a foam roller? Place your arms on the sides of a doorframe and step forward slightly. Hold the position for 1 minute. Vary your arm position in 2-3 positions, holding each 1 minute.
- Use a foam roller or 2 lacrosse balls taped together. Lie on it across your spine and roll up and down on it.
- Lie on your side with arms outstretched in front of you. Rotate your top arm toward the ceiling and across toward the floor, following your moving arm with your head. Your goal is to be able to get both shoulders on the floor while hips are stacked.
Still having pain or have more questions? Click here for more information.