Chiropractic Approach to Treating Tennis Elbow
Tennis elbow is an issue we frequently see at our practice. Some of our patients are tennis players, which causes their pain, but many of them are not, however they still experience tennis elbow. Below we share some information on tennis elbow including how we can treat it and how you can prevent it from acting up.
Many Office Workers and Other Professions Develop Tennis Elbow
While many tennis players develop tennis elbow, many people develop “tennis elbow” from other activities. For example, many office workers develop tennis elbow if they have set up their desk in a way that aggravates the ligaments associated with tennis elbow. Additionally, tennis elbow frequently occurs with construction workers, plumbers, painters, musicians, and other people who frequently move their hands and arms in the same repetitive manner.
What is Tennis Elbow?
As defined by the Mayo Clinic, Tennis Elbow, also known as lateral epicondylosis, is “a painful condition that occurs when tendons in your elbow are overloaded, usually by repetitive motions of the wrist and arm.” The pain frequently begins near the elbow, but then worsens over time and can even flare up when someone with tennis elbow attempts to grab something such as a door.
What Causes Tennis Elbow Pain?
Tennis elbow is caused by overuse and muscle strain from a variety of activities such as tennis as well as non-sports related activities such as cutting up cooking ingredients, repetitive computer mouse use, screwing in screws, and more.
How Can I Treat My Tennis Elbow?
After meeting with a chiropractor, they will perform a physical exam and ask you questions about your pain to diagnose the issue and cause. Based on their diagnosis, they will develop a custom plan to help relieve your pain and fix the root cause so it does not come back. Their plan will likely consist of a few different treatment methods that the The American Chiropractic Association recommends for tennis elbow. A few of these include:
- Active Release Technique
- The Tyler Twist
- Instrument-Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization
- The Graston Technique
- Functional and Kinetic Treatment with Rehab (FAKTR)
- Fascial Manipulation
- Crossfiber Manipulation
- Dry Needling
Many people try to treat tennis elbow with ice and a pain killer such as ibuprofen, however this approach only temporarily relieves the pain, it does not treat the real issue and therefore the pain will typically come back.
How Can I Prevent Tennis Elbow?
There are a variety of methods you can use to prevent tennis elbow, from avoiding the movements that cause tennis elbow to stretching and strengthening. Johns Hopkins Medicine provides a few basic recommendations that we have put below.
- Keep your arms flexible and strong
- Avoid repetitive movements
- Warm up before exercising or using your arms for sports or other repetitive movements
- If you play a racquet sport, make sure your equipment is right for you