Tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow: Pain in the elbow is often due to two main conditions - tennis elbow and golfers elbow. Tennis elbow causes pain and tenderness around the outside of the elbow joint whereas golfer’s elbow causes pain around the inside of the joint. Both are injuries caused by repetitive overuse or wear and tear from any hobby, sport or occupation, not just tennis or golf. Sometimes a single injury such as a sudden unexpected tug on the forearm can cause symptoms. I use deep tissue massage, medical acupuncture and osteopathic mobilization to relieve the symptoms of these two conditions. I will advise you on which activities and movements to avoid for a while, on any helpful exercises and self-stretching. I will advise on whether I recommend the use of anti-inflammatory medication or if I think you should consult your GP for further investigations.
Numbness, tingling or developing weakness of the thumb and fingers is due to a trapped nerve. This nerve may be in the neck, under the collarbone, wrist or occasionally in the elbow. Tests will determine where.
You may notice this most when you hold something and in the night and first thing in the mornings.
A “trapped nerve” in the neck or around the collarbone also commonly causes pain, numbness or tingling in one or two fingers. A slipped joint, a damaged disc or osteoarthritis in the neck bones, traps the nerve. A slipped disc in the neck is a very painful condition, which must be managed carefully. If you think you have slipped a disc in your neck please consult your GP or myself immediately.
Arthritis: Generalized stiffness and occasional sharp pains on movement of the neck that have developed over time is caused by arthritis in the neck. Nerves in the neck supply the arms and hands so if trapped, cause sensations such as numbness, pins and needles or weakness, in the fingers. This can be significantly relived by osteopathic mobilisation, trigger point therapy and/or medical acupuncture as well as some self-stretching.
Pain and/or swelling in the joints of the fingers may be due to osteoarthritis or other forms of arthritis, rheumatoid conditions such as fibromyalgia, or gout, all of which would need to be investigated by your GP.
Trigger points in the shoulder or neck muscles also refer pain down the arm into the hand.