How Sports Rehabilitation Helps with Tennis Elbow Treatment

Tennis Elbow Treatment Ooltewah, TN

Tennis elbow can make daily tasks almost impossible due to the pain and discomfort it brings. If you are looking for tennis elbow treatment, sports rehabilitation may help. This treatment method involves various approaches and exercises to help restore strength and mobility so you can return to your sport/activity safely.

Understanding tennis elbow

Alternatively known as lateral epicondylitis, tennis elbow often occurs due to muscle overuse. The repetitive motions from playing certain sports can cause the tendon that connects the wrist and elbow (extensor carpi radialis brevis) to swell. This causes pain and weakness in the elbow, forearm, and wrist. As a result, patients may experience difficulty using fine motor skills, such as when gripping small objects.

Who does it affect?

According to Johns Hopkins, tennis elbow primarily affects patients aged 30 to 50. When related to sports, it typically results from an improper backhand stroke, repeatedly hitting the ball off center, or using a racket that is too tight or too short for the player. Patients who play other racquet sports, such as squash, are also known to develop this condition.

Note that nonathletes may develop tennis elbow as well. For instance, patients who work in professions that require repetitive muscle movements (dentistry, carpentry, etc.) may also be affected. Additionally, those who play a racquet sport and work in these industries may experience more frequent symptom flare-ups.

How sports rehabilitation can help

Sports rehabilitation focuses on helping injured athletes return to their sport of choice. For patients with tennis elbow, that means some sort of racquet sport (i.e., tennis, racquetball, squash). While patients may need to take some time off from playing, the goal of treatment will be to help get them playing again without further damaging the tendons and muscles in the arm.

Tennis elbow treatment: An overview

Sports rehabilitative treatments for tennis elbow vary depending on the patient. The chiropractor or other healthcare provider will create a treatment plan that first relieves the stress put on the problem tendon and then improves mobility. Finally, they will help prepare the muscles for the court through activation exercises. Here is a closer look at the components of tennis elbow treatment:

Resting the elbow

As mentioned, the first step will be to rest the elbow. The pain will likely worsen if the patient continues to engage the elbow. This means taking a break from playing the sport. It may also involve limiting the amount of fine motor activity the patient engages in. Limitations can include reducing time spent using hand tools or a computer and not pushing oneself when lifting small objects or completing tasks like opening jars.

Some patients find that over-the-counter pain medication is a huge help at this stage of treatment. Ibuprofen and acetaminophen are the most common. However, make sure to only take these drugs periodically and according to their labels. Prolonged use could negatively impact overall health. Consult a medical professional if the patient needs to take these regularly.

Hot and cold therapy

For tennis elbow, patients will likely start with icing the area for up to 20 minutes several times daily. A chiropractor may also recommend that the patient try hot and cold therapy. Often referred to as contrast therapy, this treatment involves alternating between ice packs and heating pads on the affected area. Ice helps with inflammation; heat improves circulation. When combined, these methods help with pain and stiffness.

Mobility training

There are certain exercises and stretches patients with tennis elbow can do to help restore mobility. A common one is the towel twist, in which the patient gently twists a dry towel as though they were wringing out water. Patients will do this in both directions. Fist clenches, elbow curls, wrist curls, and wrist extensions are other types of mobility training used in treatment.

Activation exercises

The final step of tennis elbow treatment will involve activation exercises to help the patient prepare for playing tennis, squash, or racquetball again. These exercises vary, as they aim to strengthen the muscles that should be engaged when playing. At this point in treatment, the sports rehabilitation team may help the patient practice proper form as well.

Call today to make an appointment

Tennis elbow treatment has many components, each of which is customized to the patient. If you have been experiencing pain from the wrist to the elbow, consult our team at Spine & Joint Regenerative Medicine. We will work to relieve your symptoms and get you back to the sport you love.

Request an appointment here: or call Spine & Joint Regenerative Medicine at (423) 424-1529 for an appointment in our Ooltewah office.

Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Tennis Elbow Treatment in Ooltewah, TN.

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