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Tennis Elbow Feature

Tennis Elbow

What Is Tennis Elbow?

Tennis elbow is a type of tendonitis (swelling of the tendons) caused by overuse of the tendons in the elbow. This overexertion is the result of repetitive motions, and people in professions like painters, plumbers, butchers, and carpenters can all suffer from it. The pain of tennis elbow usually radiates from your elbow through your forearm.

Symptoms of Tennis Elbow

The symptoms of tennis elbow include pain in the bony knob of your elbow that may radiate from the outside of your elbow into your forearm and wrist which can make it difficult to:

  • Grip things
  • Lift something
  • Shake hands
  • Straighten your wrist
  • Turn doorknobs

Causes of Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow is caused by overuse of the muscles in your forearm that you use to raise and straighten your hand and wrist. This overuse causes tiny tears in the tendons that connect those muscles to the bone in your elbow.

While playing tennis with poor technique is a common cause of tennis elbow, it’s far from the only cause. Other repetitive motions that can lead to tennis elbow include:

  • Painting
  • Using scissors
  • Typing
  • Driving screws
  • Gardening
  • Neurological abnormalities
  • Weightlifting
  • Using a computer mouse repetitively
  • Knitting
  • Using plumbing tools
  • Swimming
  • Fencing
  • Cutting up ingredients for cooking
  • Weightlifting

Risk Factors for Tennis Elbow

While anybody can develop tennis elbow, some people
are at higher risk than others. Tennis elbow risk
factors include:

  • Occupation. Jobs that require repetitive motions are more likely to lead to tennis elbow. Some professions that are more prone to tennis elbow include plumbers, butchers, carpenters, painters, and chefs.
  • Racket sports. Any sport that involves the use of a racket can lead to tennis elbow.
  • Age. Tennis elbow is more common in people between the ages of 30 and 50.

How to Prevent Tennis Elbow

With a little self-awareness, it may be possible to prevent tennis elbow. The key is to avoid overusing your forearm muscles. Other ways to help prevent tennis elbow include:

  • Avoid using the wrong equipment during activities like golf or tennis
  • Stretch and warm-up before exercising your arm or elbow
  • Perform squeeze and release exercises with a tennis ball to build up your forearm muscles
  • Ice your elbow after exercise

Tennis Elbow Diagnosis

A doctor usually diagnoses tennis elbow with a physical exam and a discussion of the symptoms, although your doctor may choose to do x-rays or perform other diagnostic tests to rule out other conditions.

There is a test you can do at home to see if you may have tennis elbow. Standing behind a chair, grip the top of the chair back with your elbows straight and your palms facing down and try to pick up the chair. If you experience pain on the outside of your elbow while performing this motion, you may have tennis elbow.

What Are Treatment Options for Tennis Elbow?

While tennis elbow often clears up on its own after a few days of rest and using over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil) or naproxen (Aleve), sometimes more aggressive treatments are necessary. Treatment options for tennis elbow include:

  • Ice (for 20-30 minutes every 3-4 hours) and rest
  • Using an elbow strap to prevent more strain
  • Physical therapy
  • Chiropractic care
  • Injections (of steroids or painkillers)
  • Ultrasonic tenotomy (TENEX procedure)
  • Surgery to remove the damaged portion of the tendon and repair what’s left

How Can Chiropractic Care Help Tennis Elbow?

Tennis elbow can often be related to problems with the shoulder, neck, or wrist. You may think that chiropractors only manipulate backs and necks, but they can do so much more than that.

A chiropractor will assess your arm and neck to isolate the area(s) which the pain is stemming from. Based on the results of that assessment, a chiropractor has a wide variety of treatment options in his arsenal to help, including:

  • Massage
  • Myofascial release
  • Acupuncture
  • Pin-and-stretch cross-friction techniques
  • Active release techniques (ART)
  • Instrument-assisted soft tissue techniques (IASTM)
  • Ultrasound
  • Dry needling
  • Cold-laser therapy

Click here or call Southside Chiropractic Car Injury Clinic today at 904-497-0823 to schedule a consultation to see if we can help relieve the pain in your tennis elbow.

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