Injuries of the elbows are a common complaint seen in chiropractic offices. The majority of injuries to the elbow are overuse or repetitive strain type injuries primarily caused by occupations where the patient performs the same activity using the hand, wrists and forearms over and over again throughout the work day.
One example of such an injury is Lateral Epicondylitis or Tennis Elbow. Symptoms of this condition include a painful burning sensation and tenderness on the outside of the affected elbow along with weakness of the wrist and forearm, difficulty extending the elbow fully and sharp pain experienced when lifting, gripping or carrying items. The condition is caused by an inflammation of the tendon that connects muscles from the hand and wrist to the outside of the elbow.
Although Tennis Elbow can be caused by racquet sports as the name implies, most cases seen in this office are due to work demands or through every day activities such as painting or cooking. Untreated pain can last months as the inflammation is aggravated by continuing to perform the activities which initially caused the condition.
Chiropractic offers a drug-free approach for the treatment of Tennis Elbow. Cross-friction massage of the affected tendon along with release of the muscles of the forearm help to ease the pain and promote healing and strengthening. Ultrasound is also used to further reduce inflammation and promote healing of the affected muscle tissue and tendon. A brace may also be provided to rest the elbow and allow healing to occur.
As the pain of Tennis Elbow decreases, exercises can be prescribed to strengthen the muscles of the affected elbow and forearm and also increase flexibility of the elbow and wrist.