Ahhh, the anatomy of the elbow. What seems at first like a simple joint… isn’t.
It looks similar to a door hinge, but there’s a twist! (pun intended) You see, the radius, on the right of the image actually spins as well as hinges, while the bone on the left, the ulna, just hinges.
Why does it spin, you might ask? Well, the radius and the ulna make up your forearm, and the lower ends of these bones join to your wrist.
Try this: Look at the palm of your left hand. Go on… Look! Now, keeping your arm in the same position, turn your hand over to look at the back of it. Congratulations! You just spun the radius within the elbow joint. If you can find just the right spot on the outside of your elbow with your fingers, you will actually be able to feel radius spinning when you flip your hand from front to back.
Most of the time when I see people with elbow problems, it turns out to be either “tennis elbow” or “golfer’s elbow”. I’ll talk about each of these conditions in upcoming posts. For now, I hope you learned something you didn’t know before!