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Elbow Health: What Would You Be Doing Right Now If You Could Lift Your Ability to 100%?

Beat Elbow Pain and Improve Performance With Lift Clinic's Vancouver Physiotherapy, Chiropractic, Massage Therapy, and Strength Coach Team.

Ok, let’s talk about the elbow! What to expect from rehabilitating your elbow pain with Lift Clinic, and how our clinicians can help level-up your elbow function and performance. Whether you’re here for performance or for rehabilitation, we’re here to help!

Take a sneak peek into how we work with the elbow at Lift Clinic

Physiotherapist Travis Dodds shares how clinicians at Lift Clinic can treat your elbow to eliminate pain and optimize performance.

What's it like to rehabilitate your elbow with Lift Clinic?

At lift clinic we strive to provide you with a thorough assessment that incorporates an understanding of your head to toe movement abilities and how these relate to your pain and injury. We believe in helping clients level up movement by addressing root causes of pain. As a team we train together to help ensure our clinicians know the abilities of their teammates. This is so we can make accurate “passes” when sharing clients, like how elite sports team make passes as they work towards scoring a goal. 

When you come in to see one of our practitioners about your elbow pain, the first thing we will do is  go over your intake form. We want to understand you, your history and background. We want to know how this pain or limitation has been coming on and how long it’s been going on for, things like that.

We’ll also ask you some questions (eg. how much sleep do you get a night?) that may seem unrelated. Believe it or not, things like sleep and stress may be affecting you and your recovery in some ways you  may not expect!

We encourage clients to think big picture and help us understand who you are and what’s most important to you. So we like to start by asking questions like this: 

What would you be doing right now if your health and function were 100%?

This is a question we want each and every one of our clients to ask themselves before they come in. Every client has their own unique goals and abilities. What’s important to you and what you want to achieve is a fundamental factor in creating your individualized treatment plan.  Our aim is to help you overcome pain and improve performance so that you can keep doing what you love!

Why is it important to seek treatment as soon as possible?

The main thing here is getting that early initial diagnosis. We want to know what what’s going on, and start getting you informed on what you can do right now.

When you come in for the first time, you will be assessed from head-to-toe. In most cases, if you have elbow pain or suffer an injury, there’s something that was underlying in the first place. We want to assess the root issue and start on getting it better ASAP. We also want to extend that assessment to look at what the root cause of this issue is for you and address that too. The sooner you tackle your elbow pain or injury and start your recovery journey, the sooner you can get back to 100%.

What can I do to prepare for my appointment?

  • come with flexible clothing – shorts and a t-shirt/tank top are generally best
  • be prepared for an assessment that will look at the elbow, but also the whole body, so we can understand how your elbow and body affect one another, assess whole body movement patterns, and also look for signs of whether or not grumpy peripheral nerves, low back or vestibular systems may be involved in your issue.
  • take time to reflect on how this is affecting your function – are you limiting activities? strength, flexibility or cardiovascular exercise? is this foot injury affecting your mental health (stress, anxiety, depression?), ability to enjoy yourself, your mood, or your sleep?
  • reflect on: what would you be doing if you were 100%
Take the first step to eliminating your elbow pain and achieve your performance goals!

Elbow Pain and Rehabilitation FAQs

Sometimes when there’s pain at your elbow, it’s pretty obvious how it came to be. Could be from extending too far, being caught between two players, smashing it on the floor, etc.  What happens when it’s not so obvious, when it seems to creep up over time? Or you wake up with pain on day?

That’s where we come in. By going over your intake form and assessing you head-to-toe, we can identify some sources of your pain that may not be so obvious. Could be from repetitive movement, which we see commonly in golf and tennis. Could be poor mechanics in your wrist or hands. It’s easy to blame the pain on the movement or activity itself, where in reality there may be some underlying cause that left you vulnerable to injury or pain. Looking at the elbow in the context of your whole body is key. 

Here are some common elbow injuries we see at Lift Clinic:

  • Lateral epicondylalgia (aka lateral epicondylitis, tennis elbow)
  • Medial epicondylalgia (aka medial epicondylitis, golfer’s elbow)
  • Ulnar Collateral Ligament (UCL Injuries)
  • Elbow dislocations
  • Flexor tendinopathy
  • Olecranon stress fractures
  • Triceps tendinopathy
  • Elbow hyperextension injuries
  • Ulnar neuritis

With a thorough head-to-toe assessment, we can can tell you what  kind of injuries your exposed to or at risk of. Many factors play into your odds of sustaining an injury, including what sport you play as well as what’s unique about you. Based on your personal situation, we can recommend certain warm-up exercises or strengthening specific muscles will help you prevent a shoulder injury.  

The key message here is to efficiently train stability and strength, or mobility and flexibility where it matters most. Subtle variations in exercises can optimize function and performance of each moving part (ie cervical spine, shoulder, etc). The ultimate goal is to have every one of these parts working together seamlessly and efficiently so that you can move and feel your best.

For the elbow, we need to make sure it’s well supported between an arm and hand that are functioning well and positioned optimally during activities. We also need to work on balancing strength and power in elbow extensor and flexor muscles. Sometimes we need to look at how you’re managing load and whether you’re increasing load slowly.

To start off, we recommend seeing one of our physiotherapists or chiropractors for a thorough head-to-toe assessment. From there we will discuss a personalized treatment plan for you,  including which therapies will best get you back to 100%.

Probably! It very much depends on what caused the pain or injury. With IMS Dry Needling, microfilament needles are inserted directly into the muscle to target your pain and tension in a way you just can’t do externally. 

Read this article to learn about how we use IMS Dry Needling to treat tennis elbow.

What is optimal elbow function and how does this help your performance and longevity?

Optimal elbow function means having full, pain free range of motion and the ability to utilise this with a variety of loads, speeds and positions. 

Optimal elbow function helps performance and longevity mainly through the supportive role it has as one link in the chain of movement involving your arm. Clients with elbow pain often are limited in their ability to perform strength training. As a result, this easily overlooked area can end up undermining performance and functional gains that are important to you.

This is one place that working with a strength coach can be really helpful in the meantime. While you’re sorting out your elbow pain, what are the best exercises and techniques you can use to help stay fit and strong? 

How can Lift Clinic help you optimize you elbow performance and achieve your goals?

Here’s an example of how Lift Clinic has helped a client optimize their performance:

We had a client who was a high performance water skiier. This sport requires a lot of strength in the forearm, bicep, and back in order to hold on as they are pulled. The thing is, this sport doesn’t use your triceps much. As a result, there were some significant strength imbalance between the biceps and triceps. This led to pain, especially with strength training. 

In this case, working with a combination of physio, chiro and RMT allowed the client to make significant improvements. Working with a strength coach provided the opportunity to develop improved muscle balance as efficiently as possible, restore normal strength ratios of bicep:tricep and eliminate the root cause of pain.

Helping you to optimize your performance and achieve your goals is specific to who you are, and what your goals are. It all starts with assessment. Come see us today and let’s get started!

Meet Lift Clinic - a team of Vancouver Physiotherapy, Chiropractic and RMT Massage Therapy practitioners who believe in strength and movement for life.

Have pain or movement goals?

Lift Clinic is located in East Vancouver at 4030 Knight St. Our team of Vancouver physiotherapists, chiropractors, massage therapists, and strength coaches is ready to help you reach your goals as efficiently as possible! Click Book Now to get started, or Contact Us if you have any questions or would like to speak directly to a Vancouver physio, chiro or RMT about your situation before you book.

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