Elbows are many times considered simple, as it is a ‘simple’ hinge joint. There are however quite a few pitfalls around elbow assessment and management which are overlooked. The elbow is in fact a tri-joint complex formed by the humerus, ulna and radius which creates two articulations to consider around flexion-extension motion, whilst also a proximal articulation around pronation-supination.
This should be appreciated especially when addressing deficits in ROM. Most muscles acting at the elbow cross over into the shoulder, indicating the importance of this proximal joint to elbow management.
The position of the forearm also creates diverse mechanical advantages and disadvantages for elbow function which if used well can enhance the overall approach in this region. For example, did you know that the strongest position for elbow flexion is the mid-prone position, whilst the fully pronated position provides the best position for elbow extension. Why? This and much more will be explained in this episode on the elbow.
- Appreciate the structures implicit in Sports Injuries for the Elbow
- What tests can be used to enhance our understanding of function
- Management Considerations for the Elbow