Suffering from Tennis Elbow Even If You Don’t Play Tennis?

Tennis vs. Man

According to statistics, about half of all tennis players will suffer from tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis).  Interesting enough though, you don’t have to play tennis in order to get tennis elbow. Most people that suffer from tennis elbow, are people that use their forearms (elbow, wrist and hand) repeatedly at work, during sports or through any other recreational activity.

What Causes Tennis Elbow?

Overuse of tendons and extensor muscles around the elbow joint can cause tennis elbow. The tendon is a tissue that extends from the muscle and attaches the muscle to the bone. In this particular case, the tendonsthat have been affected are attached on the lateral epicondyle, which is located on the outside of the elbow. Any time a person with this condition tries to carry objects or twist or grip with their hands, they will experience pain on the lateral part of their elbow. Manual laborers (plumbers, carpenters, painters, computer users, etc…) and sports participants (tennis, golf, etc…) through a prolonged use of their wrist or hand, will experience tennis elbow. Most people that develop this condition are between the ages of 30 and 50, and it occurs more often in men than women.

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What are the Symptoms?

The symptoms from tennis elbow can be felt anytime force is required and is exerted by someone’s hand, especially when utilizing a screwdriver or carrying a heavy shopping bag from the super market, or typing will onset elbow pain. Most of the time tennis elbow pain has a gradual onset over a period of weeks and months, but it may also come on suddenly.

Symptoms may also include: pain radiating from the lateral aspect of the elbow all the way to the wrist, overall weakness and stiffness of the elbow joint and forearm, and most importantly the inability to do things like opening a door, holding items (coffee mug), handling tools and anything else that requires the use of the hand.

Why is Physical Therapy so Important?

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There is always a point in life that seeking help is very important when we find ourselves in the devastated situation of not being able to function properly, taking care of our needs and feeling hopeless in the presence of PAIN.

If you find yourself in a situation that you are:

  • Not able to straighten or flex your are
  • Experience noctumal and resting pain
  • Observe swelling of the elbow joint

Then it’s Time to be treated by a licensed Physical Therapist!

Our treatment philosophy is to provide personalized and holistic care to all of our clients. Our approach to tennis elbow is based on Manual Therapy, which includes a number of physical therapy techniques such as:

  • Trigger Point Therapy
  • Muscle Energy Technique
  • Positional Release
  • Neuro Mobilization
  • Joint Manipulation

….and a number of other methods that aim to treat the source of the problem, and not just the symptoms.

A typical physical therapy program has 3 phases. The 1st phase is to isolate the source of the problem and decrease the pain by decreasing muscle tightness and improving motion. The 2nd phase is to introduce basic exercises that focus on improving the strength of the elbow muscles, while we are still working on decreasing the pain further, and bringing balance between tight and weak muscles. The 3rd and last phase is the most important in rehabilitation, because it aims to re-educate the patient on how to avoid future injuries by improving neuromuscular control, which is the interaction between nerves and muscles.