Tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis, as it is clinically known, is a condition that causes pain around the outside of the elbow. Tennis elbow can result in pain on the outside of the upper forearm, just below where the elbow bends.
It can also cause pain when a person is lifting or bending their arm or gripping small objects such as a pen. Pain may also arise when twisting the forearm, for example, if turning a door handle. Tennis elbow can also make it difficult for one to extend their arm.
How can tennis elbow be treated?
So, how is this particular form of elbow pain caused? Well, tennis elbow is most commonly caused by the overuse of the muscles that are attached to the elbow. The ones which are used to straighten the wrist.
The muscles and tendons can become strained, with tiny tears and inflammation developing near the bony area (clinically known as the lateral epicondyle) on the outside of the elbow. This elbow joint pain can be caused by many different factors. As the name suggests, tennis can be a cause, because of the repeated stress on the elbow joint the sport requires. But other activities that require the same movements can also be a cause.
Tennis elbow is one of those conditions that will eventually get better itself without any treatment. On average most cases of the condition last between six months and two years. A large majority of cases see the condition go after one year.
Having said this, some treatments can help improve existing symptoms and speed up the recovery process. The first place to start is to make sure you have stopped taking part in whatever activity caused the pain in the elbow in the first place. You need to rest your elbow joint to ensure recovery.
Another suggested activity is to hold a cold compress such as a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel against your elbow for a few minutes a few times a day. This can help ease some of the pain.
Seek professional help
But a highly recommended option is to see an experienced chiropractor. They will be able to create a programme which will help a patient to recover and feel more comfortable in their everyday lives. While the patient is seeing the chiropractor, the expert can examine the affected area and look for the joints which are not functioning well. Treatment could be directed at common sources of dysfunction such as the neck or mid back that can contribute towards tennis elbow. Focusing on offloading the injured tissue, lifestyle changes such as ergonomic advice and appropriate rehabilitation is key.
It should not be too difficult to find a registered chiropractor as most towns have quite a few offering their services. If you do not know of one where you live, do some online research to make sure you select a fully registered and qualified chiropractor.
In understanding a bit more about tennis elbow, including its causes and treatment options, the condition can be managed much more effectively. Hopefully, this blog has helped you understand how tennis elbow can be managed.
With the right treatment, an individual can be well on their way to living more comfortably. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to get in touch with us on 01604 754 456 or head over to our contact page and fill in the enquiry form, alternatively you can book in directly using the online booking page on the website.
Nick has been treating patients for over 9 years. He currently works in clinics in Duston and Milton Keynes.