Do You Have Tennis Elbow? Diagnosis And Treatment Options

Posted on: 25 February 2015

If you have been having elbow or forearm pain or even numbness in your hands or arms, you may be suffering from tennis elbow. Tennis elbow is a repetitive strain injury, meaning that if you do an activity over and over, you may be affecting your bones and connective tissues. Read on to learn how tennis elbow happens and how you can treat it.

What is Tennis Elbow and How Did I Get It?

When the tendons around the lateral epicondyle become inflamed, it's known as tennis elbow. However, tennis elbow isn't exclusive to its namesake sport. Other sports—golf especially—can exacerbate your elbow and arm. Even if you aren't an athlete, activities like gardening and typing can cause it if you are sustaining the motions for a length of time. Since your wrist flexor muscles are attached to your elbow, you can feel this pain throughout your arm. And if you don't receive treatment soon, the issue can become worse. For instance, you may have trouble grasping objects without shooting pain.

How Can I Treat it?

The good news is, this is a pretty common ailment and can be treated easily. If you aren't totally sure if you have the condition, you'll want to make an appointment with a chiropractor. They may proceed with an adjustment if there's a mechanical issue with your musculoskeletal system. Or, the chiropractor may proceed with one or all of the following treatments:

1. Massage

  • Trigger point massage: A trigger point is a tender area of muscle tissue that may cause shooting pain. The chiropractor may locate this trigger point and apply pressure. While this may be uncomfortable at first, the chiropractor will have you take deep breaths until the muscle releases.
  • Active release therapy: This is similar to trigger point, except its focus is on pinpointing and breaking up scar tissues or adhesion.
  • Cryomassage: You've probably heard of hot stone massage, but cryomassage is the opposite. The chiropractor may apply a cold pack while he or she works on the muscles.

2. Bracing

The chiropractor may give you a brace to wear in order to immobilize the injury. He or she may walk you through the "RICE" method (stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation) and how you should apply those principles to your individual case. For instance, the chiropractor may want you to wear a compression sleeve to alleviate inflammatory fluids from settling.

3. Stretching

The chiropractor will tell you how much or how little you can use your arm while it heals. He or she will likely show you some stretching exercises to help you prevent future problems. For instance, you may need to strengthen your wrist extensor muscles, so you may need to practice wrist curls with your palms facing downward.

As you can see, there are lots of ways to alleviate your pain. Don't let your injury get worse—go see a professional like Chiropractor Plus as soon as you can.