Epitrochleitis

epitro-s The epitrochlea designates the inner part of the elbow, where the flexor tendons of the fingers and of the wrist are located...

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Francis HELIAS
Jocelyn-William LOUBRIAT

Definition

The epitrochlea designates the inner part of the elbow, where the flexor tendons of the fingers and of the wrist are located (fig 1).

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Fig 1: Location of the epitrochlea

Epitrochleitis is a tendonitis of this area.
The word tendonitis refers to an inflammation of the tendinous structure. The term is often wrongly used to designate a tendinosis, that is to say a degenerative condition by micro-rupture of the tendon. The inflammatory state is only a symptom.

The condition develops progressively, starting with simple discomfort that disappears with the warm up. If it is not treated, the symptoms may persist and increase.

Pain is felt during palpation, stretching and contraction.

Mechanism of the lesion

Excessive strain (amount and intensity) on the epitrochlear tendons (such as every other tendon) lead to their degeneration.

Maximal strain on the flexors of the fingers and of the wrist pull inexorably on the insertion at the elbow.

The inertia of a dyno landing increases the shock when grabbing a hold.

The accumulation of strain without complete recovery, the persistence of contractions between the training sessions and poor revascularization of the region lead to its degeneration.

Once again, it is important to remember that repetition of a movement is harmful for the structures.

Prevention

Technique correction:
Do not stretch out the elbow completely during muscle training.
Do not load too much weight.

Correction of the exercise schedule:
Do not use too heavy or too voluminous a load

Schedule regular rests.
The quality of the training is more important than the quantity.

Correction of the physical preparation:
Strict warm up.

Gradual increase of training loads.

Systematic stretching of the flexor muscles of the fingers and of the wrist after each training session (fig 2).

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Fig 2: Stretching of the flexor muscles of the fingers and of the wrist
Treatment

Ice cube massage, 3 times per day till the pain disappears.
Application of an anti-inflammatory gel after the ice treatment for up to 7 days (respect the manufacturer’s directions).
If the symptoms persist more than one week consult a sports doctor and ask for a prescription for reeducation sessions.
Early care by professionals can prevent the condition from becoming chronic.

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