“Tennis elbow”is most frequently found in people who do repetitive things with their arms and forearms

 

image from davidgmiller.typepad.comby Dr. Doug Portman

 

I have many patients that come into my office with pain on the outside of their elbow and forearm. However, most of these patients do not play tennis. Tennis elbow is actually a misnomer. Even though it does show up in some tennis players, it is most frequently found in people who do repetitive things with their arms and forearms. The technical term for “Tennis Elbow” is Lateral Epicondylitis. It is caused by an inflammation or micro tears to the extensor tendons of the hand and wrist. This condition is very difficult to get rid of on your own once you have started showing symptoms. The reason being is that people are constantly using the wrist and elbow throughout the day so it never gets the rest in needs to repair itself. Many people who get this condition are carpenters, weight lifters, and workers who lift and turn things repetitively throughout the day. It can become so painful that even lifting a cup of coffee can send shearing pain into the elbow.

[quote_box_right]The reason being is that people are constantly using the wrist and elbow throughout the day so it never gets the rest in needs to repair itself.[/quote_box_right]Many physicians try different ways to treat this difficult condition. Often the first trial aims at using ice and anti-inflammatory. If that treatment does not work, many doctors and physical therapist will try putting a brace around the elbow. This is usually a thin strap which puts pressure at the pain point. If all conservative methods fail the last resorts are steroid shots followed by a possibility of surgical intervention.

[quote_box_left]In my office, we take a slightly different approach which has proven effective.[/quote_box_left]In my office, we take a slightly different approach which has proven effective. We will treat the area with ultrasound, cold laser, and maybe even electrical stimulation. Additionally, we will use trigger point therapy on the extensor muscle and tendons, to help move the inflammation out of the area along with breaking up any scar tissue that may be starting to form. We encourage home use of ice on the pain area. Another slightly different approach is we will put the wrist in a carpal tunnel brace. The reason for this is that when you lift objects and let the wrist get into a flexed position it pulls on the tendon at the elbow causing the pain and inflammation. By using the brace, it keeps the wrist in an extended position thus taking off pressure from the elbow so it can heal and not become reaggravated.

[quote_box_left]If left unchecked the condition can worsen and a build up of scar tissue can ensue[/quote_box_left].Finally, Lateral epicondylitis or “Tennis Elbow” can be a debilitating condition if left untreated. If you start to have pain on the outside of the elbow, especially upon picking up objects, please see a physician right away if the symptoms do not resolve in a week or 2. If left unchecked the condition can worsen and a build up of scar tissue can ensue.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call our office at (513) 677-6787.

Dr. Douglas R. Portmann DC, CCSP, CSCS

 Wards Corner Chiropractic and Sports Rehab 550 Wards Corner Rd. Ste. 101 Loveland Ohio 45140

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