Tennis Elbow Treatment
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Treating Tennis Elbow
When you overuse your forearm muscles and tendons around the elbow, you run the risks of causing tennis elbow. Overuse can lead to inflammation, and the result isn’t always caused simply by playing tennis.
Also known lateral elbow pain (or lateral epicondylitis), it is often referred to as tennis elbow simply because playing tennis involves a lot of repeated muscle use involving the elbows. It is estimated that up to half of those who play tennis regularly will develop tennis elbow at least once, with those aged between 30 and 50 being most susceptible.
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Learn More about Treating Tennis Elbow
Although commonly seen in tennis players, tennis elbow can affect anyone who regularly moves their arms and elbows in an incorrect way. Repeated misuse of the elbow will lead to small tears that will affect the tendon. The reason why tennis players are so vulnerable to this type of injury is that they repeat similar motions with their arms and have frequent high impacts as they hit a tennis ball.
That’s why professional tennis players spend so much time perfecting their technique. The wrong technique leads to repeated high impacts rotating through the wrist, creating impacts that then put too much pressure on the tendons and results in irritation, inflammation, and pain. However, there are other causes of tennis elbow that can occur even without stepping foot on a tennis court. Our specialists have treated patients who have tennis elbow caused by a variety of activities, including:
- Cutting up food
- Many sports that involve repeated arm actions, like throwing a ball
- Using scissors
- Manual work that requires repeated use of the wrist and arms, including typing and more strenuous forms of manual labor
For some patients, the causes of tennis elbow can even be unknown. Even without an apparent cause, we can still help you treat the pain and the long-term effects of tennis elbow. We can help you get back on the tennis court or back to work with our combination of chiropractic care, pain management, physical therapy and massage therapy.
Most commonly, tennis elbow is identified by a recurring pain that you will feel in your upper forearm on the inside of your arm. The pain will generally be located on the outside of the forearm, located just before the joint of the elbow. However, that pain can often extend right down to the wrist in more extreme cases. If you feel pain in these areas when you bend or lift your arm, or when you try to grip something (like a tennis racket), then you may have developed tennis elbow.
It may be that the pain you are feeling is not tennis elbow. A scan will confirm this, but it is not always necessary. Trained medical professionals will be able to diagnose tennis elbow with a range of motion tests and some questions about the location of the pain.
There are a variety of treatment options for those that suffer from tennis elbow. Resting the arm is the most important treatment that you can do, and our team will always stress the importance of rest when it comes to any kind of tendon injury. You need time for the tendons to heal. However, for more extreme cases, such as those that affect regular sports players, a combination of physical therapy, ice packs, soft tissue massages and anti-inflammatory drugs might also be considered.
At the Icon Medical Centers in Miami, Florida, we make sure that you get the personalized treatment plan that matches your needs. Our physical therapy treatments ensure that pain in your tendons and muscles is limited, and we work to get you back to full mobility and a pain-free life as efficiently as possible. Our skilled therapists will guide you through a variety of tennis elbow exercises and advise you on home care as well. Often, they will advise the use of a wrist splint or tennis elbow brace that will prevent further damage or will prescribe you with pain relief medication.
On many occasions, the signs and symptoms of whiplash do not develop immediately following the injury: Frequently, the onset is delayed from two to 48 hours and some individuals do not experience whiplash symptoms for several weeks. Although this scenario is fairly common, the reason is not completely understood, some believe that the delay in muscle soreness is responsible for this circumstance. This is one of the reasons that undergoing an evaluation from an experienced emergency physician following a vehicle accident is essential.
The best way to avoid tennis elbow is to ensure that you are using the right physical techniques in your movement (whether this is at work or for your sporting). The goal is always to spread body impact to the larger muscles, avoiding too much stress on the smaller tendons, bones and muscles of the body. Warming up your body before any kind of physical exertion is essential, but you can also benefit from using lighter equipment (such as lightweight racquets that have a larger sized grip).
If you have already been treated for tennis elbow, then our physical therapists in Miami can recommend a variety of tennis elbow exercises that will strengthen the muscles in your arm and reduce the chances of tearing those vital tendons again.