Tennis Elbow Defined
Tennis elbow, more formally known as lateral epicondylitis, is not an injury reserved exclusively for tennis players. In fact, tennis elbow commonly affects people in a number of occupations that involve repetitive gripping activities such as hammering, painting, or using a wrench or screwdriver. With repetitive gripping, the wrist will move into a position of relative extension and activate the muscles on the back of the forearm. Many of these muscles combine to form a single tendon which then attaches to the bony protrusion on the side of the elbow (the lateral epicondyle). Therefore, this tendon experiences a great deal of tension over a small area creating the perfect scenario for an overuse injury.
How to Treat Elbow Pain
Physical therapy will most likely include modalities to control pain and inflammation such as ice massage and electrical stimulation. Physical therapists can also deliver corticosteroids to the affected area using electricity or ultrasound. For long-standing injuries, heat may be applied followed by cross-friction massage to help stimulate a stalled healing process. A counter-force strap may also be prescribed to distribute tension more evenly across the muscle-tendon unit. Once the pain is controlled, strengthening, stretching, and body mechanics/ergonomic adaptations typically follow.
Dynamic Physical Therapy
If you or a family member requires physical therapy, please call DYNAMIC PHYSICAL THERAPY or schedule an appointment by clicking below. We utilize a combination of hands-on techniques and therapeutic exercise in a patient-centered environment to truly generate Health In Motion.