What is tennis elbow?
Tennis elbow is a term used to describe soreness and pain felt on the outer (lateral) part of the elbow. Tennis elbow is common and most people do not get it from playing tennis. It is caused by injury, irritation, or inflammation of the tendons, which attach on the outer side of the elbow (on the lateral epicondyle of the humerus bone). These tendons are attached to muscles, which help bring the wrist and the fingers back as well as rotate the forearm.
Tennis elbow can be caused by a single accident such as a direct blow to the outside of the elbow. Most commonly it develops from overuse or repeated grasping or twisting of the hand, wrist and forearm during everyday activity. This may cause inflammation and microscopic tears in the tendons and muscles. It can lead to pain, weakness, scarring, formation of adhesion and shortening of the muscles and tendons.
Risk factors for tennis elbow
- Activities that involve repeated movements of the forearm, wrist, and hand. This includes grasping and twisting arm movements.
- Improper equipment for work, sports, and daily activities.
- History of tendon injuries (tendonitis, recurrent sprains)
Treatment of tennis elbow
Tennis elbow can take 6 to 24 months to heal. Most recover within a year. Injured tendons are likely to heal with minimal scarring and loss of strength, with adequate rest for the area and proper treatment.
The most effective treatments include a short period of rest, soft tissue therapy and a strengthening and stretching program for the involved area. Chiropractic and physiotherapy can also help to correct the underlying cause and alleviate pain.
It is important to consult a health professional in order to receive a proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
How Active Release Technique (ART) can help resolve tennis elbow
Tennis elbow responds extremely well to ART treatments. ART is used to specifically remove or reduce scar tissue and adhesion formations in the involved muscle in order to decrease the stress on the tendons of the outer part of the elbow. ART aims to restore proper function of the involved muscles and tendon, which will help eliminate pain and increase strength. Integrating ART within the treatment plan reduces recovery time.