Anconeus Trigger Point
Elbow pain can occur with acute trauma such as falling on an outstretched hand or getting hit with a baseball bat. It is also common to develop medial and lateral elbow pain with chronic repetitive movements with work and sports. The most common injuries around the elbow include medial epicondylitis, lateral epicondylitis, cubital tunnel, triceps tendinitis, musculocutaneous nerve entrapment, elbow bursitis, and pronator teres syndrome.
Most of these injuries are common with chronic repetitive motions and movements either at home, work, or with recreational activities. Soft tissue treatments are one of the best at decreasing overall elbow pain and speeding recovery. Patients are all familiar with protect, rest, ice, compress, elevate, and reduce activity for the first couple weeks after an injury. If the elbow pain does not disappear then additional treatments may be required.
The anconeus muscle gets very little attention by the mass media and many physicians. However those who treat many upper extremity injuries including occupational therapist, physical therapists, chiropractors, sports therapists, and massage therapists are very familiar with the elbow musculature and how it works together during our daily activities.
The larger triceps muscle, wrist flexors, and wrist extensors are often injured and garnered the most attention with elbow pain. Carpal tunnel, cubital tunnel, and pronator teres syndrome get a little attention.
Anconeus trigger points can also be just as limiting and difficult to treat. The location of pain across the elbow is an indication to look through the anconeus other muscles around the elbow to address any potential injuries or trigger points. If treatment does not improve the anconeus muscle and trigger point many people experience elbow pain when they return to activities.
As previously mentioned the anconeus muscle injury often occurs with other elbow soft tissue injuries. Addressing all of the soft tissue damage provides the best outcomes for the patient. X-rays and MRIs can evaluate bone and soft tissue damage. Without trauma people are unlikely to break either the humerus, radius, or ulna bones.
Chronic repetitive activities increase the muscle, tendon, and periosteum damage. Specific locations of pain with resisted flexion and extension of the elbow and wrist provide information on the muscles and tendons that are injured. Swelling and edema is often present in these injuries. Palpation of the injury often provides the best diagnosis for identifying which muscles and tendons are injured.
Anconeus trigger points will refer pain across the elbow. Palpation of the wrist flexors, wrist extensors, and triceps insertion produce sharp pain that radiates in a different pattern than the anconeus muscle.
Treatment for any muscle and tendon injury involves decreasing muscle hypertonicity or spasm. Stretching and strengthening exercises are given based on functional abilities of the patient and long-term goals. Therapies to address muscle and tendon tissue damage should begin as quickly as possible to eliminate scar tissue and enhance proper healing.
Massage therapy, manual therapy, Active Release Technique, and Graston Technique are excellent treatments at addressing the soft tissue adhesions and scar tissue that develop around the elbow muscles. These treatments can very quickly enhance pain-free range of motion and flexibility. Patients who have chronic muscle and tendon sprains often benefit from anti-inflammatories, or local injections to control the pain, swelling, and enhance healing.
Anconeus muscle trigger points are often missed in the initial diagnosis. However with soft tissue treatments that address chronic repetitive stress injuries will eventual discover and identify anconeus muscle trigger point.
Once the musculature is pain free and normal muscle flexibility and strength is restored. Patients with higher expectations for recovery and sports may benefit from ball stability exercises to further improve neuromuscular learning of the shoulder, elbow, and wrist muscles. More exercises with the stability ball can be seen for the upper extremity.
Our Chandler Chiropractic & Physical Therapy Clinic treats patients with a variety of muscle, tendon, joint, and ligament injuries. The clinic provides treatment for runners, tri-athletes, and weekend warriors in addition to common headache, neck, and back patients traditionally seen in Chiropractic, Physical Therapy, Massage Therapy clinics. We work with all ages and abilities of the residents in Phoenix, Tempe, Gilbert, Mesa, and Chandler AZ.