Tennis Elbow Is Not Just for Tennis Players
A common injury in racquet sports, as well as occupations that involve repetitive activity, lateral epicondylitis (LE), otherwise known as tennis elbow, affects approximately 1% to 3% of the general population every year. Fortunately for LE sufferers, chiropractic care from the doctors, of Irondequoit Chiropractic Center, not only provides much-needed relief, but can also prevent this painful condition from returning.
While its name may suggest otherwise, less than 5% of elbow diagnoses are related to the sport of tennis. As the most common cause of elbow pain, tennis elbow results from repetitive wrist extensions that cause abrupt or slow tearing of the common extensor tendon, which is located where the forearm meets the elbow. Because these micro tears can hinder the body’s natural healing process and cause degeneration, inflammation may occur directly following an injury, but usually resolve with proper treatment.
Athletes and workers who participate in activities that require repetitive arm, elbow and wrist motion may experience tennis elbow, especially where improper biomechanics and poor posture are involved. Occupations and activities susceptible to LE include carpentry, bricklaying, tailoring, golfing, baseball, bowling and drumming. Those who frequently use a keyboard and mouse or shake hands more than usual, like politicians, are also at a higher risk of developing tennis elbow. It’s important to determine the cause of the problem as well as to relieve discomfort when treating this condition. The doctors at Irondequoit Chiropractic Center don’t just treat your symptoms but analyze why the problem is ccurring.
The pain associated with tennis elbow varies from mild to sharp, and in 75% of cases, the dominant arm is the one affected. LE usually presents as an ache on the outside of the elbow. If left untreated, tennis elbow can turn into chronic pain in a matter of weeks. Those with more severe cases of LE may have trouble performing even the simplest of tasks, like picking up a cup.
When seeking treatment, doctors will perform a thorough exam, asking the patient to flex their arm, wrist and elbow to find the source of the pain. To rule out a fracture, dislocation, infection or neoplasm, physicians may order X-rays or other types of imaging tests, such as a MRI (magnetic resonance imaging).
The natural course of healing for LE may take months, but with an effective treatment plan, the symptoms may resolve much more quickly. Besides avoiding activities that involve repetitive wrist extension, those with LE may be prescribed a topical ointment that contains menthol, camphor or similar ingredients – for soothing relief.
Other common forms of treatment include adjustments, ice, strengthening exercises to improve mechanics, low-level laser therapy (LLLT), therapeutic ultrasound and elastic therapeutic tape, or kinesiology taping. In some cases, mobilization and manipulation of the elbow, cervical spine and wrist can immediately decrease pain, so those suffering from LE can get back to their daily activities. This return to normal function and everyday life is the ultimate goal of chiropractic treatment.
While many people only see chiropractors as back doctors, they are most accurately understood as neuromusculoskeletal specialists that employ a full range of treatments to alleviate the pain caused by tennis elbow. At Irondequoit Chiropractic Center in Rochester, NY, a team of chiropractors and licensed massage therapists can implement a targeted treatment plan that gets to the root of LE. To learn more about their chiropractic services, contact the office at 585-467-7070.