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Elbow Pain Specialist
Dr. Rainer Fischer, of the European Integrative Medicine Center,
offers a variety of treatments for elbow pain to residents of Scottsdale, Arizona.
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Elbow Pain Q&A
by Rainer Fischer, ND
What Causes Elbow Pain?
Many problems can cause elbow pain; injuries, arthritis and overuse are probably the big three. Arthritis is a degenerative disease in which the protective cartilage “shock absorbers” wear away, leaving two bones rubbing together. One of the most common causes of elbow pain is an inflammation of the tendons (tendinitis). Tendinitis is typically caused by overuse such as pitching a baseball, swinging a golf club or tennis racket, or repeating any motion for a long time with the same arm. A ligament can slip between the bones of the elbow, causing an elbow subluxation or partial dislocation.
When Should I See a Doctor for Elbow Pain?
If you cannot move the elbow joint or it causes significant pain when you try, call your doctor immediately. You should also see a doctor if you have elbow pain that doesn’t get better with home care that includes rest, the use of ice and over-the-counter pain medications. If you have an obvious deformity of the elbow, especially after a fall or direct injury such as a blow, you should see a doctor or go to the emergency room.
How Can Naturopathic Treatments Help?
For chronic problems like tendinitis, naturopathic doctors may treat them with acupuncture (using traditional needles or laser acupuncture), nutritional treatments and supplements, herbal medications, prolotherapy (injecting the joint with healing substances) and homeopathy. Most of these are aimed at stimulating the body’s natural repair mechanisms. Chiropractic adjustments can resolve alignment problems. Massage therapy can help relieve muscle spasm and reduce pain.
Will I Need Elbow Surgery?
Surgery should always be a last-ditch option to relive elbow pain. Surgery causes scarring, which can create new problems, and a risk of complications such as bleeding or infection is always a factor. If you have a severe nerve injury, diseased or damaged tissue, surgery may be the right choice. Before you get to that point, however, take advantage of the many other therapies offered at the European Integrative Medicine Center.