Flexion of the Elbow

Last Updated: July 30, 2018

Definition - What does Flexion of the Elbow mean?

Flexion of the elbow refers to the movement of the elbow joint that brings the two proximal bones closer together. When the elbow is flexed, the angle between the two joined bones is reduced. Flexion of the elbow is an anatomical term of motion and may also be called elbow flexion. Repetitive motion of the elbow or prolonged holding of a single position may increase the risk for work related musculoskeletal injuries. Steps should be taken with proper safety procedures and ergonomic design to mitigate this risk.

WorkplaceTesting explains Flexion of the Elbow

The elbow joins the upper arm and forearm. The synovial hinge joint of the elbow connects the humerus of the upper arm to the ulna and radius of the lower arm. The elbow is limited to a single plane of motion, flexion, and extension.

Flexion of the elbow occurs when the lower arm is pulled toward the upper arm, causing the angle between the two to become smaller, while extension is the reverse motion of unbending. The collection of muscles that control elbow flexion are referred to as the flexor group. The brachialis found in the upper arm is the primary muscle responsible for elbow flexion. Injury or strain to the muscles in the flexor group or the elbow joint can impair flexion of the elbow.

A common workplace injury that limits the elbow's mobility is epicondylitis. Sometimes referred to as tennis elbow or golfer's elbow, this condition may arise as a result of repetitive use or overexertion of the elbow. This cumulative trauma disorder may be limited or avoided through the use of appropriate ergonomic practices.

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