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To Your Health with Dr. Robin Dale

To Your Health with Dr. Robin Dale

Summer in Louisiana is hot! But it is a sportsman’s paradise almost year round, not just in the way of hunting and fishing, but also because the warm weather gives us many advantages of nearly year-round outdoor activities compared with our neighbors to the north.
Along with all that warm weather and fun sports comes the opportunity for some pain to set in from overuse injuries.
Three of the most common inflammatory syndromes seen in the doctor’s office are lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow), medial epicondylitis (golfer’s elbow), and plantar fasciitis (pain along the bottom of the foot and especially at the heel insertion point).
These three nuisances can surely make a great game turn into a painful memory if you are not careful, recognize what is happening, and know how to treat them.
Tennis elbow is pain on the lateral or outside of the elbow at the bony prominence and is especially noted when you are trying to extend the wrist against resistance, such as holding a bag with milk in it with your palms down to the ground. It comes on by repetitive trauma to the tendon at its insertion point at the elbow. This is often from the backhand in tennis from the vibration transmitted up the racquet, hence the name. It is seen a lot in construction workers also from hammering or a twisting motion of the forearm.
Golfer’s elbow is pain on the medial or inside of the elbow at the bony prominence and is noted when you are trying to flex the wrist against resistance, such as holding a bag with milk in it with your palms up to the sky. Repetitive trauma from a golf swing or construction and the resultant vibration puts stress on the inside of the elbow.
Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition that is usually associated with overuse of the feet or bad footwear such as flip-flops that don’t support the arch well. Often this is seen in a new workout routine that is very well intentioned but quickly ends in pain. The first step out of bed when the ligaments on the foot are stretched after being flexed for most of the night causes a lot of pain with this condition.
All three of these nuisances need to be identified early to keep you enjoying your summer fun. They can be treated with an appropriate dose of anti-inflammatories, appropriate braces/shoes used, and stretches started throughout the day and, of course, before and after exercise. Ice will help with the pain along with physical therapy. Sometimes a shot may provide relief if the above items don’t fix the pain; rarely, surgery is necessary.
Careful attention to your body and what it is telling you is very important. Please see your doctor if your pain is not better in a week after trying the above remedies.

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