One of the most common diagnoses in patients who are experiencing elbow pain is tendonitis. Some forms of tendonitis that can be treated in physical therapy include triceps tendonitis, medial epicondylitis (golfer’s elbow) and lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow). Epicondylitis is an inflammation of the tendon fibers that attach the forearm muscles to the elbow. Typically, tennis elbow patient’s experience pain on the outside of the elbow, golfer’s elbow patient’s experience pain on the inside of the elbow and triceps tendonitis patient’s experience pain at the back of the elbow. This inflammation and pain often start due to overuse of weaker muscles.
Blood Flow Restriction Therapy can be helpful for treatment of elbow pain including medial/lateral epicondylitis and triceps tendonitis. Our goal when treating these injuries is to reduce stress on the tendon, to avoid further inflammation, while achieving improved flexibility and strength of the muscles. Due to the inflammation involved with elbow injuries, it will most likely be painful to use heavier weights to improve strength. Blood Flow Restriction Therapy allows you to participate in traditional exercises with your physical therapist’s guidance, using very low or no weights. Despite using low weights, Blood Flow Restriction Therapy can put you in a more advantageous position to gain strength and stability ultimately returning to all your daily/recreational/sport activities quicker.
If you are suffering with any of the above, you may be a candidate for BFR (blood flow restriction therapy).
Rob Dykeman PT DPT