Once a week, for the next few weeks, I am going to highlight one small muscle that is often overlooked in treatment for pain and body dysfunction. I have found, through clinical practice, these muscles can have big dividends in return to play/life pain free.
I guess my definition of small and overlooked is a muscle you don't target to train in the weight room. The first muscle I'm targeting is the Anconeus. Whens last time you've heard, "I'm training my Anconeus today."
I call this muscle the triceps little helper. It has attachments on the lateral epicondyle and the olecrenon of the ulna. Like the triceps, it helps to extend the elbow, but I believe this is a very minor roll.
It, along with the medial triceps head and supinator, helps stabilize the elbow in pronation and supination. It accomplishes this by abducting the ulna in pronation. EMG has revealed that it contracts with all index finger movement.
Another crucial role, with elbow extension, it pulls on the joint capsule to keep it from getting pinched. (Things that can alter joint capsules, I'm starting to believe have more important roll in pain management. Muscles that stabilize, as other things move, I think also have a vital roll.)
If you are dealing with lateral elbow pain as therapist or athlete, don't forget this muscle. Small, but important.
-train out pain and train in performance!