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Elbow and Forearm Overuse Injuries Follow-up

  • Author: Vincent N Disabella, DO, FAOASM; Chief Editor: Sherwin SW Ho, MD  more...
Updated: Oct 21, 2015

Return to Play

Return to play is usually appropriate when (1) the patient's symptoms are tolerable, (2) anatomic and biomechanic corrections are made, and (3) 90% of the strength of the affected side as compared with the unaffected side has returned. If the dominant side is affected, athlete's elbow and forearm should return to 100% of the strength of the nondominant side.



The major complication of overuse syndromes is the individual returning to the same poor habits that caused the original insult. Care must be taken when correcting the biomechanics of an injury, in order not to cause overuse injuries at another point in the kinetic chain. Very rarely, permanent nerve damage can result from nerve entrapment syndromes.



The best way to prevent overuse injury is to stress to athletes and coaches the proper biomechanics with any physical activity. A frequent mistake that athletes make is increasing the intensity or duration of an activity too rapidly for the body to adapt. Runners use a 10% rule that is usually fitting: only increase the weight, distance, or duration of an exercise 10% every 10 workouts.

Related Medscape topic:

Resource Center Exercise and Sports Medicine



The prognosis of most overuse injuries is very good, as long as the athlete completes a thorough rehabilitation program. The correction of any training or biomechanical errors that caused the original overload is also very important.



Educate athletes and coaches concerning preventive measures to help eliminate overuse injuries in their respective sports. Many times, it is important to have the athletes participate in a sound strength and conditioning program to ensure that these individuals are physically prepared for the stresses of their sport.

Related Medscape topics:

Resource Center Exercise and Sports Medicine

Resource Center Trauma

Contributor Information and Disclosures

Vincent N Disabella, DO, FAOASM President, Sports Medicine of Delaware, Inc

Vincent N Disabella, DO, FAOASM is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Sports Medicine, American Osteopathic Academy of Sports Medicine, American Osteopathic Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Received salary from Medscape for employment. for: Medscape.

Chief Editor

Sherwin SW Ho, MD Associate Professor, Department of Surgery, Section of Orthopedic Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Chicago Division of the Biological Sciences, The Pritzker School of Medicine

Sherwin SW Ho, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Arthroscopy Association of North America, Herodicus Society, American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine

Disclosure: Received consulting fee from Biomet, Inc. for speaking and teaching; Received grant/research funds from Smith and Nephew for fellowship funding; Received grant/research funds from DJ Ortho for course funding; Received grant/research funds from Athletico Physical Therapy for course, research funding; Received royalty from Biomet, Inc. for consulting.

Additional Contributors

Joseph P Garry, MD, FACSM, FAAFP Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, University of Minnesota Medical School

Joseph P Garry, MD, FACSM, FAAFP is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Family Physicians, American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, Minnesota Medical Association, American College of Sports Medicine

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

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