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What is Tennis Elbow?

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tennis elbow

Tennis elbow is the common name given to pain originating on the outside or lateral side of the elbow. This condition arises from an irritation or inflammation of the tendons of one or several forearm muscles at their attachment to the bony protuberance close to the elbow joint, known as the lateral epicondyle. Therefore the medical term for this condition is lateral epicondylitis, meaning an inflammation of the epicondyle.

Despite the name, you don’t have to be a tennis player to be diagnosed with tennis elbow. Some people develop tennis elbow from prolonged carrying of heavy bags, knitting, chopping food, and/or computer work using improper wrist and arm posture. With this condition, you will have pain over the outside of the elbow as well as wrist weakness, tenderness over the outside of the elbow, pain when lifting or bending the arm, difficulty extending the forearm fully, pain when gripping or lifting and carrying.

Chiropractic manipulation can help restore the normal alignment and motion of the elbow joint. This is sometimes called closed reduction manipulation. This is where chiropractic manipulation has an advantage over other specialties. It is important to manipulate and stretch capsular joint restrictions during the treatment phase. Chiropractic care focuses on not just relieving the symptoms, but correcting the underlying problem.

Before any treatment can begin, you will begin a standard chiropractic examination of the head, neck and upper back and entire upper extremity to check for any nervous system interference to the group of nerves called the brachial plexus. Research studies have shown that spinal manipulation/adjustments to the neck are effective in treating tennis elbow.

To prevent tennis elbow, it’s important to keep the forearm muscles stretched and not to expose them to overuse. It’s also key to strengthen these muscles with forearm exercises such as tennis ball squeezes, dumbbell or barbell wrist curls and wrist extensions.

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