The human elbow is another very complicated joint that requires a lot of parts to work together to provide us with the mobility that we take for granted every day. When something goes wrong, we really do notice how important this joint is and we will do whatever is necessary to fix it.
The elbow is made up of 7 parts:
- Blood Vessels – The largest artery that goes through the elbow is the Brachial artery which splits into two parts called the Ulnar artery and the Radial artery. These two feed blood into the hand.
- Nerves – The Radial nerve, Ulnar nerve, and Median nerve all travel through the elbow down to the hand. They connect to the brain and carry messages about pain, sensations, and temperature. Sometimes these nerves can be irritated because the elbow is constantly bending and can cause pain.
- Muscles – The main muscles connected to the elbow are the bicep, triceps, and forearm muscles.
- Tendons – These the tissues that connect muscle to bone. The bicep tendon connects to the biceps and the triceps tendon connects to the triceps. The outside tendon that connects to the forearm muscles is called the Lateral Epicondyle while the interior tendon is the Medial Epicondyle.
- Ligaments – These are soft tissue that connect bones to bones. The Joint capsule surrounds the joint and contains lubricating fluid. The Medial collateral ligament is on the inside of the elbow, and the Lateral collateral ligament is on the outside. The Annular ligament wraps around the Radial head joint.
- Joints – The elbow is basically a hinge joint with a second joint at the end of the Radius bone meets the Humerus bone called the Radial head. The Radial head is more complicated because it allows you turn your hand palm up and down. The joints are covered in Articular cartilage which is rubbery and slippery to allow the joint bones to slide against each other.
- Bones – The Humerus is the upper arm bone, the Ulma is one of the bones on the forearm on the opposite side of the thumb, and the Radius is the smaller bone of the forearm on the same side as the thumb.
Here is a great video that illustrates how all the parts of the elbow work together. Stay tuned for an explanation of how a chiropractor would treat tennis elbow and golfers elbow.