Lateral Epicondylitis ; Here is a natural way to resolve your problem while improving your tennis game.

Lateral Epicondylitis; Here is a natural way to resolve your problem while improving your tennis game.

If you experience tennis elbow also called lateral epicondylitis, you may have worn a brace or tried a different grip on your racket.   You may have felt some improvement, yet the elbow will still be sore and be aggravated by hitting the ball. The condition may also be caused by other repetitive activities as well.

A tennis pro may notice problems with your form which can be reinstructed, yet, the elbow continues to be exacerbated.   Tennis players may develop knee problems, Achilles problems, plantar fasciitis and even pull muscles in the lower leg or groin when playing.  Some may experience back pain as well.

Do you have other physical problems that seem unrelated, or is there a common thread that is resulting in many pains that come and go?  As you age, you may notice yourself wearing more braces to allow yourself to continue to play as well.

The hidden cause of your elbow pain may actually be a result of years of adaptation to past injuries as well as a body style that was inherited.   Recent research now suggests that people develop a gait signature which may be an adaptation to our body style which is inherited.  We are constantly adapting to our environment and the fascial system, which is an exoskeleton that controls movement may be part of the problem, while movement patterns are constantly relearned by our brains.  Some people will call this muscle memory.

Indoor tennis season is underway and to protect the rest of your season, and your body from future injuries, you may want to rethink the idea of wearing splints which may relieve the symptom by restricting painful movement but does not resolve the cause of the problem.

Elbow pain causes and common treatments

The healthcare system has us believing that different parts of our body will become painful and then require treatment to the painful part.  This is very apparent when you visit a doctor for elbow pain.  A typical visit may the following which was taken from the Somerset Medical Group Web site:

“Conservative treatments are usually tried first. These include:

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Over-the-counter pain medications
  • Physical therapy
  • Bracing
  • Steroid injections
  • A new tennis racket and modification of swing technique
  • Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections
  • Extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT)

If these measures are tried for 6 to 12 months without success, surgery may be necessary. Surgery can be either open or arthroscopic, and will usually involve the removal of damaged tissue and reattachment of muscles to bones.”

While it is true that the wrong grip or poor hitting technique can load the elbow and result in a painful elbow, it is also true that the ability to grip and swing is a body movement that relies on the legs, feet, core, shoulder and finally the lower arm.   Since the force required to grip the racket depends on the rest of your body, when these parts malfunction, the stress will be moved on your elbow when you swing, serve and topspin the ball.

Perhaps, this is why so many people with lateral epicondylitis also have problems in other parts of their bodies.  Is this why so many lateral epicondylitis sufferers have so many other problems even when the elbow pain was relieved?

If movement is the cause, why look at only the elbow?

A better approach to resolving your elbow pain and improving your tennis game.

A holistic approach to why your elbow hurts is the only way to understand your problem.  Holistic means that everything is being looked at and considered.  A thorough history of your back, knees, feet, shoulders and neurological system can often reveal hidden clues behind why you hurt.

You may wish to consider visiting a sports certified chiropractor first.  Chiropractors are primary care for musculoskeletal problems.   They are drug-free practitioners who understand the interconnected nature of the body and can apply proven treatments that improve the way you move and function. Proper diagnosis of the cause of your pain is essential to developing the appropriate treatment.

What you can expect on your first visit

  • A thorough history.
  • Our active evaluation physical includes observing how you move, squat and function during normal activities and restrictions of the fascia which may result in pain.
  • Neurological evaluation.
  • Orthopedic tests to determine if any tissues are damaged.
  • An x-ray if indicated.
  • Treatment directed to the mechanism behind why you hurt, as well as the area of pain.

Typical chiropractic treatment includes

  • Manipulation of the spine and extremities to improve the way the body moves and functions.
  • Myofascial Release and Graston Technique to improve the fascia’s flexibility and movement characteristics.
  • Exercises designed to rehabilitate and retrain movement patterns and improve the strength of your body.
  • Treatment goals to resolve your problem quickly and restore pain-free activity.

Feel better in as little as one visit.  Call us today or schedule online.