You may have recently started to feel some pain in your forearms and wrist, or possibly some slight discomfort in your arm when gripping or picking up a heavy object with one hand. Now you’ve never played a game of tennis in your life but you are told you have Tennis Elbow. And now you are feeling the pain in the elbow with all activities in your life from lifting pots and pans to brushing your teeth.
What is Tennis Elbow and what causes it?
Tennis Elbow, clinically known as Lateral Epicondylitis, is a general term used to describe a condition where there is lateral elbow pain secondary to an irritation or tears of the tissue connecting the forearm muscles to the elbow. It is typically an overuse or muscle strain injury. A patient’s primary complaint is usually pain on the outside of the elbow and sometimes the forearm and wrist. Tennis elbow can be caused by repetitive arm and wrist motions.
Although playing tennis accounts for only 5-7% of Tennis Elbow injuries, the name “Tennis Elbow” is a great term to help visualize the kind of motion that is responsible for this type of injury. Picture a tennis player performing a backhand swing to get a proper visual of the muscles activated with this type of movement.
The movement itself is common with painters, carpenters, mechanics, plumbers, factory workers, welders, athletes, chefs, and many more.
What are the symptoms and consequences of Tennis Elbow?
The symptoms associated with Tennis Elbow will likely develop gradually over time and include pain or discomfort that radiates between your forearm and wrist, difficulty gripping things tightly, lifting and stiffness in the elbow.
More specifically, there is a bony knob on the outside of your elbow that will develop tenderness or soreness. This knob is where the muscle tendons attach onto the bone. It is the epicenter of the compromised tissue, but the pain may radiate between the upper or lower arm.
Diagnosing Tennis Elbow
The first and most important step in alleviating the pain is to rest the affected arm and to reduce inflammation. Should the pain persist after a few days or becomes increasingly painful, book an appointment with your Neurolink chiropractor to get a professional assessment.
Neurolink Chiropractic offers state-of-the-art services to diagnose and provide comprehensive rehabilitation and therapy. Our office has successfully treated hundreds of tennis elbow cases. The treatment therapies include:
- Infrared Cold Laser Therapy
- Electrical Muscle Stimulation
- Soft tissue therapy- Graston and/or Active Release Technique (ART)
- Upper Extremity Manipulations
- Strengthening Exercises and Stretches
It is important to note that rehabilitation exercises must be initially performed under the guidance and supervision of a chiropractor who will rule out any serious tears in the wrist muscles and elbow tendons.
Tennis Elbow Prevention
Whether your arm will require rest, or active therapy, you can be assured that our Chiropractic practitioners will be there each step of the way to get you back into the activities you love and enjoy.
More importantly, if you currently don’t have any symptoms, but actively perform some of the repetitive movements daily that put your tendons at risk, ask your chiropractor to discuss preventative measures you can take to avoid aggravating your elbow.
Even if you don’t play Tennis, our staff at Neurolink Chiropractic wants to make sure that your elbows are ready for a lifetime of optimal use so that the possibility of playing tennis someday is still available to you further down the road. That way you can instead focus your mental energy on figuring out how the Tennis Scoring System actually works.