The tennis elbow is similar, but involves the outside bump, or lateral epicondyle. This area is irritated by the repeated tightening of the extensor muscles along the knuckle side of the forearm. In both scenarios, the epicondyles are a major sight of tendon attachment; the tendon is the fibrous end of muscles that have a very limited blood supply.
Many wonder how they develop these sometimes debilitating pains when they do not even own a set of clubs or a racket. The sport involved is not as much of a concern as the “mechanism of injury”. You can irritate the extensor muscles by pulling weeds for an hour or the flexor muscles by making a hundred biscuits, especially if you are not accustomed to these actions.
The treatment for these injuries is similar from the standpoint that we analyze not only where the pain is, but also look to see if you are compensating due to a problem elsewhere, say, in the shoulder, or even a restricted back that is causing you to use more arm movement than normal. Usually, between 6-8 visits are necessary, involving the breaking down of the restrictive scar tissue and home therapy, including stretching and strengthening exercises (which are so important in not only the healing process, but in the prevention of future injury) as well as ice and/or moist heat therapies. However, if other areas are chronically restricted or weak, suggestions will be made for what treatment may be needed. I utilize a number of therapies that are outlined in my website. Please contact us if you have any questions. My next article will begin to address the shoulder injuries.
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