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Treatment of Elbow Pain (Tennis Elbow)

March 16, 2011

The term “Tennis elbow” is used to describe pain found on the outer part of the elbow and the upper part of the forearm. It is also referred to as Lateral Epicondylitis.  The pain is due to inflammation of the tendon and bony protuberance at the outer part of the elbow.

Symptoms

Pain over the outside elbow, which may travel up or down the arm

  • Wrist weakness
  • Tenderness over the outside of the elbow
  • Pain when lifting or bending the arm
  • Difficulty extending the forearm fully
  • Pain typically lasts for 6 to 12 weeks, however discomfort can continue for as little as 3 weeks or as long as several years.
  • Pain when gripping, lifting and carrying.

Causes

It is in fact an overuse injury.  Repetitive, forceful movements at the wrist, which bring the thumb outwards and the palm upwards, can cause shortening of the muscles. This causes the attachment of the muscles at the outer part of the elbow to be placed under considerable tension and a sudden movement at the wrist may cause a tear in the muscle or tendon.

  • Tennis & other racquet sports. However, only 5% of those patients who suffer from tennis elbow are actually tennis players.
  • DIY & Gardening

 

Treatment

1st Phase of Treatment

  • It is important to reduce the inflammation and to rest the elbow as much as possible.
  • The use of ice is very effective in the first 2 to 3 days, although it is sometimes used for a longer period.
  • Sometimes a tennis elbow brace or an elbow strap may be needed, particularly if the problem persists.
  • The doctor will examine and treat any area relating to the function of the elbow and muscles of the forearm, such as the wrist, shoulder and neck.

2nd Phase of Treatment

  • It is important to increase the blood circulation to the tissues.  This can be done by alternating hot and cold and massaging the muscles to relieve stress and tension.
  • When pain has subsided, it is important to start a rehabilitation program of stretching and exercise for the elbow and the affected muscles, taking care that the exercises are done slowly and carefully so as not to make the condition worse.

Prevention

Most tennis elbow injuries occur either at the beginning of a game of tennis (as a result of poor warm up techniques) or at the end of a game (when people are fatigued).

Always warm up and stretch muscles before exercising and cool down.

How long you decide to benefit from therapeutic care is, of course, up to you but for effective long term results, always follow the doctor’s recommendations.

 

For more informative tips and articles like this one visit us online at Chiropractor in Atlanta Ga

You can also find us on Facebook: Atlanta Chiropractor and  Twitter: Chiropractic Office in Atlanta

In the Atlanta Ga area, you can reach Dr. Guevara at 678-223-3900

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