Saturday, January 23, 2010

Elbow Dislocation Rehab

It's wrestling season, & elbow dislocations come with the territory. By the way, I DO NOT reduce these. The risk of neurovascular trauma is too high.

Every A.T. that's work with the posterior elbow dislocation knows what a difficult task it is achieving full ROM, and occasionally you never do. The technique I'm using in the photo is a Mulligan MWM. It's actually designed as a protocol for lateral epicondylitis. I've never had much success with it as a treatment for that injury; I'm wondering what others experience is. However, I've found it to be a terrific mobe for sprained/dislocated elbows.

The mobe belt is placed on the proximal forearm. I've got my left hand positioned inside the belt on the distal humerus, my elbow braced against my abdomen. By gently leaning back I'm producing a lateral glide to the ulna. The athlete is actively flexing/extending the elbow as pain permits. I instruct the the athlete to reverse direction just as they begin to feel the first twinge of pain coming on. Its important to rotate my pelvis clockwise & back as the elbow flex/extends to match the elbow's carrying angle. I can add a little pronation/supination to the elbow as necessary.

The technique is well described in Mulligan's book, "Manual Therapy: Nags, Snags, MWM etc."

Oh yeah, & when coach Fober tells you to watch your snatch grip, well, you better listen.

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