The anconeus muscle is a relatively small muscle that’s located in the elbow.
The main job of this muscle is to connect the bones of the arm- specifically, the humerus and ulna.
The other job of this muscle is to help you rotate the elbow. Just like any other muscle in the body, it’s possible for someone to experience anconeus pain.
In this guide, we’ll show you some effective ways for getting rid of the pain.
Overview of Anconeus Pain
The anconeus muscle extends from the biceps brachii muscle. It’s not a muscle that’s vital for the function/movement of the hand.
However, if a person injures or strains it, they may have difficulty flexing their elbow or rotating their forearm.
Not having the ability to perform these motions can limit your ability to do regular activities.
Therefore, anconeus pain should be treated as soon as possible.
What Causes Anconeus Pain?
Now that we’ve looked at the anatomy of the anconeus muscle, let’s look at what causes pain in this muscle.
The most common cause for pain is strain. Specifically, people with this symptom often end up having tennis elbow, which is relatively common.
Tennis elbow can make it hard to bend your arm at the elbow. It can also make it difficult to carry heavy objects on that arm.
Another possibility for anconeus pain is repetitive motion. If you constantly use this muscle to perform physical tasks, you’re more likely to strain/injure it.
Therefore, this type of injury is quite common in people who play golf, tennis, or in people who row a lot.
What are some of the other symptoms you should watch out for? Here are some specific associated symptoms you might experience:
- Difficulty Gripping Objects: People with an anconeus strain may find it difficult to grip objects for longer than a few seconds.
- Reduced Range of Motion: Aside from difficulty gripping objects, you might also experience reduced range of motion.
- Localized vs. Radiating Pain: The pain may remain localized or it may travel up/down the arm. It depends on the extent of your injury.
The more specific you are about your symptoms, the easier it will be for medical professionals to help you.
Specific Causes of Anconeus Pain
Here are a few specific causes to your symptom:
- Using a Jackhammer: Since using a jackhammer is an example of a repetitive motion activity, you shouldn’t count it out as a possible cause.
- Baseball: The sudden straightening of the elbow, which is what happens when you throw a ball, can lead to an anconeus strain.
- Opening/Closing Doors: Do you constantly open or close doors throughout the day? If so, the repetitive motion of doing this can lead to an injury.
- Frequently Shaking Hands: Believe it or not, frequently shaking hands throughout the day can lead to a muscle strain in the arm.
As we mentioned earlier, the sports-related causes include playing golf and tennis. Rowing is another sport that can cause this symptom.
Tennis Elbow and Anconeus Pain
The official medical term for tennis elbow is “lateral epicondylitis” (don’t worry- you don’t need to remember this).
It’s a non-life-threatening injury that can cause pain in the arm. It’s related to the tendons and muscles that are in the forearm.
Specifically, it’s when the extensor carpi radialis brevis (ECRB) muscle gets a small tear in it (or several).
This can lead to inflammation and anconeus pain. People with this injury have a hard time lifting or gripping things.
Fortunately, tennis elbow is easily treatable by medical intervention.
However, if you ignore it, it may become chronic. Therefore, you should take care of it as soon as possible.
By now you’re probably thinking, “Okay, I understand the causes- now show me the treatment options!” Alright- you win.
Below, we’re going to talk about some of the most common treatment options for patients experiencing this symptom.
There are a variety of cold packs and gels that are available over the counter that you can use.
They can be very effective at reducing anconeus pain. Note, these won’t heal an injured muscle- they’ll simply lessen the pain associated with it.
The opposite of cold therapy is warm therapy. This too can be a great way to lessen your discomfort.
A warming gel can reduce the pain of an anconeus strain without burning the skin. Use 2-3 times per day for maximum results.
Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which include ibuprofen and Tylenol, are effective treatment options.
These drugs act by reducing inflammation, which ultimately reduces pain. If you’re currently on any medications, talk to your doctor before taking them.
Modification of Activities
The best way to prevent further damage and promote healing is to modify your daily activities.
In other words, stop doing the things that resulted in your injury in the first place.
For example, if you play tennis or golf, it might be a good idea to take a break for a while.
Another great way to treat anconeus pain is to wear an elbow wrap.
Contact your primary care doctor so that you can get a prescription for an elbow wrap.
Elbow wraps limit your range of motion, which promotes faster healing and pain relief.
A similar solution to an elbow wrap is compression sleeves.
Like elbow wraps, they provide arm support and limit range of motion to encourage healing.
These sleeves will wrap your anconeus muscle so that it remains protected against further injury.