Mississauga Chiropractor Presents: Elebow Sprain

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Here’s another blog from a Mississauga Chiropractor…

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An elbow sprain is soft tissue damage of the ligaments surrounding the elbow joint.  The medial (ulnar) collateral ligament (MCL) is the ligament that is most often sprained.

 

Sprain/Strain Grading Table:

Grade

Clinical Findings

Healing Time

1

Simple/Mild Sprain:    Minimal Disruption of adjacent fibres

  •   1%-10% fibres damage
  •   Minimal pain; minimal tenderness and swelling
  •   Trigger points (upper forearm flexors);   painful end ROM

7 days to 4 weeks

2

Moderate Sprain:    Partial tearing of the ligaments or muscle

  •   11%-50% fibres damage
  •   Athletic injury, lifting, trauma, marked pain   & splinting
  •   Mild to moderate edema; bruising is uncommon

2 weeks to 6 months

3

Severe Sprain:    Possible complete tear, refer for consult

  •   51%-100% fibre damage
  •   Bruising; moderate to severe edema
  •   Marked dysfunction; antalgia & guarded   movement
  •   Palpate torn muscle; muscle flaccidity; marked   edema
  •   Elbow pain with gripping & wrist motion

2 months to >1   year

 

Causes:

a)      Fall on outstretched arm, hyperextension

b)      Single traumatic event; repetitive trauma

c)      Common flexor tendon strain often accompanies MCL sprain

 

History:

a)      Elbow joint pain with motion

b)      May have heard a snapping or popping sound

c)      May be holding forearm 90 degrees flexed

d)      Ulnar collateral ligament is tender with palpation

e)      Decreased range of motion & stiffness

 

Management:

a)      Pain Control

  1. PRICE (protect, rest, ice, compression & elevation)
  2. Electrotherapy: TENS, IFC
  3. Mild soft tissue therapy/massage

 

b)      Early Rehab (3+ days post injury)

  1. Pain free active range of motion exercises; pain free isometrics
  2. Wrist and hand exercises

 

c)      Late Rehab (10+ days)

  1. Mobilization to elbow, forearm and spine
  2. Stabilization exercises – start with wrist flexion/extension & ulnar deviation;  then pronation & Supination; lastly, elbow flexion and extension

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