What is Tennis Elbow?
Tennis elbow (technically known as lateral epicondylitis) is a condition of the extensor muscle and tendon fibers located at the outside (lateral aspect) of the arm at the elbow. If we break down the medical terminology, it makes sense: “lateral” (outside aspect) “epicondyle” (portion of bone to which the tendon adheres) “itis” (inflammation). Tennis players (or other athletes) who use back hand swings commonly suffer from this condition due the repetitive motion and stress placed on the extensor tendons. If you are suffering from tennis elbow, you will notice elbow pain/burning that increases with increased activity. The pain may radiate, and you might also notice that your ability to grasp is decreased.
Swing back at tennis elbow.
How is Tennis Elbow Diagnosed?
Tennis elbow is generally diagnosed by detailed history and physical exam. Your chiropractor will ask you questions like what makes it worse, what makes it better, how/when it began, and what it feels like. Next, an exam will be performed; your chiropractor will palpate (examine by touch) the anatomical structures of the elbow. He/she will then assess the elbow’s motion and perform specific orthopedic tests. Occasionally imaging will be ordered to rule out other conditions; however, tennis elbow cannot be seen on an x-ray or MRI.
What Are the Options for Treating Tennis Elbow?
Tennis elbow is commonly evaluated and successfully treated at Lehigh Valley Chiropractic. In most cases, conservative management is successful and most people who suffer from tennis elbow will not require invasive treatments like surgery. The chiropractors at Lehigh Valley Chiropractic will develop a treatment plan that will work for you. Joint manipulation and manual therapy (such as Active Release Technique), taping, bracing, ice massage, ultrasound, therapeutic strengthening/stretching exercises, and rest are often included in that plan. Swing back at tennis elbow; we get you out of pain and back into the game.
- Manipulation of the wrist for management of lateral epicondylitis: a randomized pilot study. Struijs PA, Damen PJ, Bakker EW, Blankevoort L, Assendelft WJ, van Dijk CN. Phys Ther. 2003 Jul;83(7):608-16..
- A rational management of tennis elbow. Kamien M. Sports Med. 1990 Mar;9(3):173-91. Review.