But I don’t play tennis…yes, that may be true. However, the term “tennis elbow” refers to a common injury that afflicts about half of all tennis players in addition to a large percentage of non-tennis players. This condition results in pain and inflammation of the muscles and tendons near the outside of your elbow.
Tennis elbow occurs due to repeated over use of the muscles in the forearm which control elbow, wrist, and hand movement. A misalignment or lack of proper motion/biomechanics in the elbow joint can also lead to compensations which can contribute to the occurrence of tennis elbow as well. It can present as a gradual, dull, aching, pain, or can come up suddenly and feel sharp. Small repetitive actions that we do every day, such as gripping with our hands, rotating our forearms, and long term computer work, can lead to areas of damaged muscle tissue and scar tissue which builds up over time. Healthy muscle fibers are aligned and are lay down in a regular, smooth pattern allowing for fluid muscle actions. Scar tissue, on the other hand, is formed in a random, irregular pattern which causes the muscle to be tight, alter proper muscle and joint motion, and increase pain signals.
Tennis elbow is not something that will usually resolve itself, and there are treatments such as braces or stretches that attempt to relieve the symptoms. Things such as braces may have to be worn long term, and the body can end up getting used to the brace and relying heavily on them to relieve symptoms, but does not get to the root of the problem.
There are a few techniques that when used in conjunction with each other can help resolve tennis elbow. What are these, you say??? Tell me more?!?! Sure, here we go:
- As stated earlier, tennis elbow can happen due to lack of proper biomechanical motion in the elbow joint itself. Through specific examination of ALL the joints in the body, the Chiropractors at IWG are able to determine if these joints are out of alignment and/or not moving as they should. If we determine that this is part of the problem, we deliver specific adjustments to the joint in specific vectors to reestablish proper motion and position. In doing so, this allows for the muscles and tendons that attach to the joint to work better as well, reducing stress and the opportunity for damage and scar tissue formation.
- Myofascial release/ART/muscle work: Another very successful technique utilized at IWG is muscle work. If there are areas of damaged tissue in the muscle or tendon anywhere in the body, it can pull on the joints it is attached to causing those joints to be stuck or not move properly. By contacting the areas of scar tissue with our hands, and moving that muscle through its active range of motion, we are able to break down that scar tissue and realign those irregular fibers into normal muscle fiber patterns. This will help restore proper muscle function and joint motion.
- Extracorporeal Sound Wave Therapy: At IWG, we are very proud and excited to offer Sound Wave Therapy in our office. This instrument utilizes sound waves that are emitted from the unit that is in contact with the skin. These sound waves enter the body all the way down to the cellular level. When sound waves hit healthy tissue, they are absorbed. When sound waves hit damaged tissues, they bounce around and ricochet off the irregular tissue pattern and break them up. Not only that, the sound wave therapy decreases inflammation, brings blood flow to the area, and actually HEALS damaged tissues. Sound wave therapy has been very successful in helping not only tennis elbow, but other ailments such as plantar fascitis, post surgical scarring, TMJ related pain, carpal tunnel symptoms, and many more.
For more information about tennis elbow, full body Chiropractic care, Sound Wave Therapy, or any of our other healing services, please feel free to contact us with any questions. We are very happy to help in any way that we can. To your health!