Tennis elbow – also known as lateral epicondylitis – is a painful elbow condition that results from overuse. The irritated tendons become inflamed, leading to pain and tenderness that hinders motion. Chiropractic treatment is often successful in cases of tennis elbow. Here’s what you need to know about tennis elbow, courtesy of Maryland Farms Chiropractic, your Brentwood chiropractor.
Anatomy and Tennis Elbow
The joint known as the elbow is the point at which three bones meet. The humerus, radius, and ulna (upper arm bone and both bones in the forearm) are held together by muscles, ligaments and tendons. Bone bumps at the lower end of the humerus, known as the epicondyles, are the point at which the extensor muscles of the forearm attach to the bone. Any motion that involves the muscle known as the extensor carpi radialis brevis (ECRB) can result in lateral epicondylitis.
Causes and Risk Factors
Tennis elbow results from microscopic tears in the ECRB. Any activity that causes overuse can result in tennis elbow. The down-stroke in tennis is a typical example of such activity, which is where this condition got its common name. However, cooks, painters, plumbers, auto workers, and butchers may also develop tennis elbow. Improper technique or equipment and heavy lifting can increase the risk. Most people who develop tennis elbow are between the ages of 30 and 50, although it can also occur at younger ages.
Symptoms of Tennis Elbow
Tennis elbow typically develops gradually. Mild pain slowly increases, especially if the condition is not treated early. Patients typically complain of pain or a burning sensation on the outer part of the elbow. Your grip may become weaker on the affected side. Although both arms can be affected, it is more common for the dominant arm to develop symptoms. Certain activities, such as holding a racquet, shaking hands or turning a wrench, causing increased pain.
The most important part of treating tennis elbow is to rest the ECRB for several weeks. Your chiropractor may also conduct motion analysis and an equipment check to see if the size or design of your equipment can be a contributing factor. In some cases, it’s necessary to change the way you move. Massage, ultrasound, heat, cold and shock wave therapy to break up scar tissue may also be helpful. Active release therapy can help resolve adhesions.
Schedule an Appointment Today!
If you suffer from tennis elbow or other musculoskeletal conditions, please contact Maryland Farms Chiropractic at (615) 309-8279. We offer a full range of chiropractic services to patients of all ages. Our office, located at 5107 Maryland Way in Brentwood, has extended hours to help meet your scheduling needs. Our goal is to help you avoid problems and improve your overall health.