What is Tennis Elbow?
Elbow and forearm pain are common symptoms that cause patients to visit our Sioux Falls chiropractic office. Sometimes people are surprised that patients with elbow pain seek chiropractic care. One of the most common causes of elbow or forearm pain is a condition called “lateral epicondylitis.” Lateral epicondylitis is also commonly called “tennis elbow.” Tennis elbow occurs when the tendons that connect the lateral (outer) aspect of the elbow to the wrist become inflamed and cause pain. These muscles are also called wrist extensors and are used when extending the wrist to reach for, move, or grasp objects. The common name of tennis elbow is used because this condition is often seen in tennis players using a backhand shot. Over time this the backhand stresses this area and can cause tennis elbow to occur.
Symptoms and Causes
Tennis elbow symptoms can range from mild soreness to extreme pain. Commonly, it is caused by repetitive movements such as typing, sign language, playing tennis or in people that work with their hands a lot. In severe cases patients may report some tingling or numbness in their hand or wrist. In our office I find that tennis elbow most commonly presents as wrist or forearm pain. On examination there is usually a lot of tightness in the forearm muscles. Also, the elbow and the forearm may be quite sore to the touch. We may also find misalignment (subluxation) present in the wrist and/or elbow.
Options to Help Tennis Elbow
For most patients in our office, tennis elbow will improve with at home exercises and chiropractic care. At their appointment, we will evaluate and adjust the joints if needed. Then, we may perform either manual muscle massage or instrument assisted myofascial release to try to loosen up the muscles. At home care will include stretching and forearm exercises. Often, within 2 weeks most patients report improvement. If our patients don’t get results after working with one of our chiropractors, we may recommend an orthopedic consultation. Other options may include injections, physical therapy, acupuncture or massage therapy. If you are having elbow, forearm, or wrist pain and live in the Sioux Falls area, please contact us to set up an appointment with one of our chiropractors. We would welcome the opportunity to try to help your case through chiropractic care.