Tennis elbow can be caused by many repetitive activities and is a common reason for elbow pain. The medical term for this condition is lateral epicondylitis or more accurately lateral elbow tendinopathy. Anyone who uses their hands in a repetitive manner is susceptible to this condition. It is frequently seen in construction workers, athletes, musicians and office workers. Activities such as keyboarding, hammering, repetitive lifting, gardening and chopping food can all place undue stress on the extensor tendons at the elbow. Many sports including pickleball, tennis and golf may aggravate the tendons and their insertions at the elbow.
Treatment of tennis elbow by a sports chiropractor will frequently go far beyond the passive therapies of icing, immobilization and anti-inflammatory medication. Treatment would frequently begin with home therapies that would include stretching exercises, strengthening exercises, support and icing. In many cases patients can resolve this condition, if caught early, by following appropriate home care. If the condition is more advanced additional care may be necessary and may include ultrasound, Graston myofascial release, massage, ultrasound and joint mobilization/manipulation in addition to the prescribed home care.
Tendinopathy that is present in the elbow, or any other part of the body, can become chronic and difficult to resolve. Both home and in office treatment tend to be more successful when the tendinopathy is diagnosed and treated early. It is also important that the patient be counseled in home care to decrease the probability of the condition returning.
In many occupations and sports, injuries occur when there is an insufficient ability of a muscle/tendon to withstand eccentric loading. For this reason it is frequently appropriate for the patient to be instructed in eccentric loading exercises in addition to long-term home stretching and self massage techniques.
If you are experiencing elbow, or other joint, pain it is wise to obtain a complete evaluation followed by a comprehensive treatment plan early following the onset of pain to maximize your treatment success and long-term ability to perform the activities you need and desire to do. Contact us now for more information!