Lateral Epicondylitis/Tennis Elbow
Lateral epicondylitis, also known as "Tennis Elbow", is the most common overuse syndrome in the elbow. It is a tendinopathy injury involving the extensor muscles of the forearm. These muscles originate on the lateral epicondylar region of the distal humerus. It should be remembered that only 5% of people suffering from tennis elbow relate the injury to tennis! It occurs often in repetitive upper extremity activities such as computer use, heavy lifting, forceful forearm pronation and supination, and repetitive vibration. Despite the name you will also commonly see this chronic condition in other sports such as squash, badminton, baseball, swimming and field throwing events. People with repetitive one-sided movement in their jobs such as electricians, carpenters, gardeners, butchers and desk bound jobs also commonly present with this condition.
SOME COMMON CAUSES OF LATERAL EPICONDYLITIS:
- Acute Trauma: this can occur from an accident or high intensity movement. An example of this would be straightening your arm while putting too much force into hitting a return with a racquet.
- Repetitive Stress Injury (RSI): this happens through overuse of the elbow joint without properly treating it before using it yet again. An example of this would be spending hours per day typing at a computer without taking a break.
- Re-Injury (Chronic Trauma): this injury is from continually injuring your lateral epicondyle tendon. Small tears in the tendon form and worsen over time, allowing the growth of scar tissue. An example of this would be painting high walls or ceilings with an already damaged elbow day in and day out.
- Over time with overuse, your muscles and tendons can become irritated which will result in weaker tendons, tiny tendon tears and development of scar tissue and/or calcium deposits. The development of scar tissue will put pressure on your soft tissue and nerves, and interrupt the blood flow to this area. Scar tissue is tough to get rid of and can cause significant pain over a long period of time.
Chiropractic treatment focuses on utilizing spinal manipulative therapy (SMT), or more commonly known as the chiropractic adjustment, to reduce joint restrictions or misalignments in the spine and other joints in the body in an effort to reduce inflammation and improve function of both the affected joint and nervous system. Our doctors may also utilize physical therapy, therapeutic modalities, taping and strapping, nutrition, joint supports, exercises and home therapy regimens to quicken recovery. Treatment is safe, non-invasive, and a non-addictive alternative to prescription medications or over-the-counter pain medications. By increasing joint mobility and improving your nervous system function and spinal health, your body has the ability to better manage symptoms caused by tennis elbow.
To see if chiropractic care is right for your condition, the highly trained doctors at Chiropractic Orthopedic Associates will perform a consultation, examination and if necessary, refer you out for diagnostic imaging such as x-ray or MRI. Based on the findings of our chiropractic exam and consultation, your doctor of chiropractic may elect to co-treat your low back pain with other healthcare professionals. We work with a network of healthcare providers that specialize in pain management, orthopedics, neurology, internal medicine, physiatry, neurosurgery and more.