Tennis Elbow (or Lateral Epicondylitis)

What is tennis elbow (or lateral epicondylitis)?
Tennis Elbow is an overuse injury that affects the tendons on the outside of the elbow, resulting in pain at the elbow and running down the forearm. Even simple movements such as shaking hands or opening a glass jar can be very painful. The arm may tire easily or feel weak when using your hands, and pain may increase when holding things, or when turning or extending the wrist.

What are the risk factors for lateral epicondylitis?
Any use of the hands can lead to Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow). Simple activities such as reaching, holding, pulling, cutting or using a screwdriver can result in Tennis Elbow. Repetition of these simple activities can cause this overuse injury. As the injury progresses, small tears in the muscles and tendons can develop, and pain can worsen as more of the tendon is injured.

How can I treat tennis elbow at home?
Ice, rest and over the counter anti-inflammatory medications are effective initial treatments for Tennis Elbow. If the affected person is unable to reduce the aggravating activities, such as job-related computer work, additional treatment may be required. Cycles of improvement followed by painful aggravation are common. Ice and rest can help reduce pain, but the elbow will be re-injured if activity is resumed before the elbow is completely healed.

What does in office treatment of lateral epicondylitis involve?
Proper advanced treatment of Tennis Elbow uses stretching, prescribed exercises, massage therapy and physiotherapy to reduce muscle spasms and decrease inflammation. The medical provider may use muscle therapy or manual treatments such as the Graston Technique or Active Release Technique to actively work on the muscles and speed healing.

Further treatment may be required in some cases. Your healthcare provider can assess whether surgery or corticosteroid injection may be recommended.

How can I further prevent tennis elbow?
Limiting or modifying aggravating activities at home, work or during recreation will help prevent Tennis Elbow. Your healthcare provider can review proper techniques to use during these activities, and advise you on slowly building strength in the elbow muscle to prevent Tennis Elbow long-term.

Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow) can be successfully treated to allow you to return your normal activities without pain. Call Alpha Chiropractic today at (480) 812-1800 to have your injury evaluated. For further information on the treatments mentioned, click on services provided link Services or Graston Technique .

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