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Chiropractic Treatment And Tennis Elbow

The term ‘Tennis elbow’ is used to describe pain found on the outer part of the elbow and the upper part of the forearm. The pain is due to inflammation of the tendon and bony protuberance at the outer part of the elbow, the lateral epicondyle.

The problem is not there because of a problem with the elbow. It is an overuse injury to a tendon that inserts on the outside of the elbow called the common extensor tendon, which is part of the muscles that bends the wrist into extension.

Symptoms of Tennis Elbow

Pain over the outside elbow, which may travel up or down the arm, wrist weakness, tenderness over the outside of the elbow, pain when lifting or bending the arm, difficulty extending the forearm fully, pain when gripping, lifting and carrying.

Pain and discomfort can continue for as little as 3 weeks or as long as several years if untreated.

Causes Of Tennis Elbow

It is an overuse injury caused by repetitive, forceful movements at the wrist, which bring the knuckles upwards or when you resist that movement.

For example, hitting a back hand shot in racket sports or playing golf. This causes the attachment of the muscles at the outer part of the elbow to be placed under considerable tension and may cause a tear in the muscle or tendon. However, only 5% of those patients who suffer from tennis elbow are actually tennis players. DIY and Gardening can also cause tennis elbow.

Treatment Of Tennis Elbow

1st part of the treatment: It is important to reduce the inflammation and to rest the wrist as much as possible. The use of ice is very effective in the first 2 to 3 days, although it is sometimes used for a longer period. Cross friction massage and Low Level Laser Therapy will help the scar tissue and healing of the tendon.

Sometimes a tennis elbow brace or an elbow strap may be needed, particularly if the problem persists. A normal elbow support is not helpful. The chiropractor will examine and treat any area relating to the function of the elbow and muscles of the forearm, such as the wrist, shoulder and neck. Having a neck problem is likely to predispose you to have tennis elbow, especially if you have tennis elbow on the non-dominant side, or if you are a chronic and recurrent sufferer.

2nd part of the treatment: It is important to increase the blood circulation to the tissues. This can be done by alternating hot and cold and massaging the muscles to relieve stress and tension. When pain has subsided, it is possible to undertake a rehabilitation programme of power stretching exercise for the elbow and the affected muscles, taking care that the exercises are done slowly and carefully so as not to make the condition reoccur.

How Do You Prevent Tennis Elbow?

Most tennis elbow injuries occur either at the beginning of a game of tennis (as a result of poor warm up techniques) or at the end of a game (when you are fatigued).

Always warm up and stretch muscles before exercising and cool down. Another important part of injury prevention should also include a review of your technique and equipment used in sports and office environments. If you have a neck problem predisposing you to have a tennis elbow, it would make sense to have chiropractic care based on the Chiropractor’s recommendations.

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