Tennis elbow and chiropractors are a natural fit. Tennis elbow usually refers to pain in the outer part of the elbow and the upper part of the forearm. This pain is caused by inflammation of the tendon when it rubs against the bony protuberance at the outer part of the elbow. The adjustments done by the chiropractor can realign the entire body and reduce pressure on the elbow ligaments.
The most common symptoms of tennis elbow include pain over the outside elbow, which can also radiate up or down the arm, wrist weakness, tenderness over the outside of the elbow, and difficulty extending the forearm, pain when lifting or bending the arm may also be a sign of a ligament problem, along with pain when gripping or carrying an object. The pain from tennis elbow generally lasts for about 6 to 12 weeks, but can also persist for years if the problem is not corrected by a chiropractor.
Tennis elbow is considered an overuse injury, caused by repetitive, forceful movements of the wrist. Despite the name, only about five percent of tennis elbow patients actually play racquet sports. Any repetitive motion can cause the injury, including gardening or typing.
Chiropractors will recommend certain treatment measures that may include:
- It is important to reduce the inflammation and to rest the elbow as much as possible.
- The use of ice is very effective in the first 2 to 3 days, although it is sometimes used for a longer period.
- Sometimes a tennis elbow brace or an elbow strap may be needed, particularly if the problem persists.
- The chiropractor will examine and treat any area relating to the function of the elbow and muscles of the forearm, such as the wrist, shoulder and neck.
- It is important to increase the blood circulation to the tissues. This can be done by alternating hot and cold and massaging the muscles to relieve stress and tension.
- Chiropractic adjustments help to loosen the joints, decrease pain, restore proper movement, and optimize function. Chiropractic adjustments can be applied to the joints of the spine but can also be used to help directly at the wrist and elbow.
- When pain has subsided, it is possible to undertake a rehabilitation programme of power stretching exercise for the elbow and the affected muscles, taking care that the exercises are done slowly and carefully so as not to make the condition reoccur.
With appropriate management, most minor cases of tennis elbow that have not been present for long can usually recover within a few weeks. In more severe and chronic cases recovery can be a lengthy process and may take up to 6 months in those who have had their condition for a long period of time. Early chiropractic intervention is therefore vital to hasten recovery.