We use our arms all the time, so when something like tennis elbow impacts our ability to move them, it affects everything about our lives. Pain and weakness making it hard to even turn a door knob doesn’t just hurt but is also very frustrating. Luckily, if you find yourself suffering from tennis elbow, you don’t have to live with it. There are ways it can be helped, including by a chiropractor.
What Is Tennis Elbow?
Tennis elbow is a condition in which the tendon that connects the muscles of the lower arm to the outside of the elbow becomes inflamed. In spite of the name, many people with tennis elbow don’t actually play tennis, although it is a very common condition for tennis players. This is because tennis elbow develops from repetitive motions of your wrist and arm, which means that anything that involves you using that part of your body a lot can put you at risk for developing this painful condition.
What Causes Tennis Elbow?
Since tennis elbow can spring from repetitive motions of your wrist and lower arm, it’s caused by muscle strain and overuse. Without stretching or awareness of how to prevent muscle strain, the constant use of your wrist and lower arm can stress your muscles, create tears in your tendons, and inflame your arm. This is very painful and can make it difficult to use your arms, ergo making you not want to move them at all.
There are certain things – like playing tennis – that can increase your risk for tennis elbow. Racket sports and jobs that require repetitive movement of your wrist and lower arm, such as plumbers and cooks, make you more susceptible.
What Are The Symptoms Of Tennis Elbow?
As mentioned above, tennis elbow is quite painful and comes with inflammation where the tears are. Because of this, the arm is also quite tender and weak. The pain and weakness can make it difficult to even hold a cup.
How Is Tennis Elbow Diagnosed?
If you find yourself with this kind of pain and you’re avoiding movement, you’ll certainly want to seek out treatment. Either a doctor or a chiropractor can help you. Tennis elbow can be diagnosed through an x-ray, an MRI, an EMG, and other methods. The provider you see will want to determine the root cause of your pain and know your physical symptoms so that they can come up with a treatment plan for you.
How Can A Chiropractor Treat Tennis Elbow?
Chiropractors want to figure out what caused the pain and how it manifests. They do not want to just treat your pain, but the underlying cause as well. They will work to eliminate any other diagnoses that it could be, such as synovitis, to best treat you. They will determine if any misalignment contributes. Some of the ways that a chiropractor can treat tennis elbow include:
- Joint Adjustments. These will reduce inflammation and the pressure on your injured tendons. Inflammation around joints is very painful and limits mobility. With joint adjustments reducing inflammation, the pain will go down and the arm will become more mobile.
- Realignment of joints/neck/spine/etc. As the same activity that caused the tennis elbow can also cause other parts of the body to become misaligned, a chiropractor can realign them back into their proper place.
- Exercises. Chiropractors will also help you through exercises designed to strengthen your grip, regain range of motion, and stretches to regain mobility. These you can typically do on your own as well, and they will advise you on how to do them at home.
Chiropractors want to treat the initial injury, as well as rehabilitate it. They don’t just want to help you not feel pain anymore, they want to fix the underlying cause of the pain.
The Importance Of Prevention
Tennis elbow is very painful, but if you play racket sports or if you have a job that requires a lot of similar motions, ignorance will put you at risk for it happening again after having gotten treatment. This is why education is so important, so that you can understand what exactly went wrong in order to prevent it. Knowing stretches you can do and other mobility and strengthening exercises will also decrease your risk for developing tennis elbow again. Your chiropractor can help you with those.
Do You Have Tennis Elbow?
Here at Carlile Chiropractic, we know how much elbow pain interferes with your life. If you’re finding yourself avoiding using your arm, know that you don’t have to live with that pain. Carlile Chiropractic has experienced professionals who are determined to get to the root cause of your pain and treat it. To schedule a consultation or for any chiropractic questions, contact us at Carlile Chiropractic today!