Tennis and Golfers Elbow

 

Soreness or pain at the elbow on the bony bump on the outside is called “tennis elbow”.  Soreness or pain on the inside is called “golfers elbow”.

What causes golfers and tennis elbow?

Golfer Elbow

Soreness and pain occur when the tendons (tough tissue that connects muscles to the bone) on misaligned elbow bones are stretched and irritated by repeated movement of hand, wrist, and forearm.  This can cause tiny tears or inflammation in the tendon.  “Tennis” and “Golfer’s” elbow can also be caused by activities that nor sport related such as:

  • Painting
  • Computer work
  • Carpentry
  • Typing
  • Gardening
  • Knitting

Tennis Elbow

What are the symptoms?

The first sign of golfers or tennis elbow is usually tenderness and pain when pressing on the epicondyles (bony bumps) on either the outside or inside of the elbow.  this can progress to a dull, constant pain or sharp shooting pain.  other symptoms include:

  • Pain when the wrist or hand is moved.
  • Pain when lifting a heavy object.
  • Pain when making a first, gripping, or shaking hands.
  • Restricted supination of the forearm and full extension.

How long will my recovery take?

Recovery time depends on the severity of the injury as well as factors such as age, health, and previous injury.  Mild injuries can recover in a few weeks but more severe injuries can take several months to recover.

Treatments

  • Specific chiropractic treatments
    • Clear the subluxation in the spine first to turn on the nerve supply.  It is based on the author’s experience and clinical management that 5th and 6th cervical (neck) are usually the culprits.
    • Lateral radial head (one of the elbow bone) could be misaligned either forward or backward.
    • Lastly, check the wrist if the elbow is free of misalignment.
  • Pain Control
    • Apply ice to your elbow 15-20 minutes 3-4 times a day.
    • An elbow strap or “counterforce” brace is worn around the fullest part of the forearm muscle, just below the elbow.  It eases the pressure on the tendon and spreads the force throughout your arm.
  • Nutrition: Main goal is to supply the body with proper nutrition to enhance recovery time.
    • Omega 3’s: EPA, DHA, and AHA
    • Protein: undenatured whey, rice, or pea.
    • Proteolytic Enzymes, take with empty stomach
    • Chondroitin Sulfate
    • Glucosamine HCL: can be used if no analgesic been taken
    • Vit C
    • Magnesium
    • CoQ10
  • Rehab Exercises & stretch: 
    • Tennis Elbow Stretch: Start with the tender part of your forearm resting on a tennis ball, with your palm facing up. With your unaffected arm, apply a downward pressure onto your affected arm. Maintaining that pressure, move your wrist up and down. You should feel the sore spot moving back and forth across the tennis ball.
    • Golfer Elbow Stretch: Start with the tender part of your forearm resting on a tennis ball, with your palm facing down. With your unaffected arm, apply a downward pressure onto your affected arm. Maintaining that pressure, move your wrist up and down. You should feel the sore spot moving back and forth across the tennis ball.
    • Eccentric Wrist Flexion: Sit erect with your affected forearm supported on a table with your palm facing upward. Use your non affected hand to assist with flexing the wrist. Then let go of the support and slowly control the affected down eccentrically to the start position.
    • Eccentric Wrist Extension: Sit erect with your affected forearm supported on a table with your palm facing downward. Use your non affected hand to assist with extending the wrist. Then let go of the support and slowly control the affected hand down eccentrically to the start position

Dr. Wu DC is a Gonstead Certified Extremity adjuster and has been taking care of athletes for years.  As usual, feel free to contact us should you have any questions at all.

Yours in health,

Dr. Wu DC
ICON Chiropractic Center

 

Resources:

  1. Kaiser Permanente Physical therapy: 09342-033 (8-11)
  2. Dr. Mark Werking DC.  Werking on Extremities: A specific approach to extremity conditions and care.
  3. BlueJay Engage Health

 

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