Tennis Elbow is an Inflammation of the Forearm Extensor Muscles
Lateral epicondylitis or tennis elbow, is an inflammation of the forearm extensor muscles usually caused by overuse. This overuse is often caused by a repetitive motion similar to a backhand in tennis, hence the name. However, it is often seen in occupations, in which there is a constant supination/pronation (think palms up and then palms down, in rapid succession) motion involved like using a screwdriver as a carpenter. Over time, the tendons of these muscles will become inflamed on the lateral portion of the elbow where they originate causing pain and possibly even swelling in that area.
Tennis Elbow Can Be Treated
Fortunately, most of the time, tennis elbow can be treated effectively in a conservative manner. Using ice initially is important to keep the inflammation and possible swelling to a minimum, reducing pain in the process. Also, if the condition is being caused by work-related activities, a forearm strap can be purchased to help provide relief. The strap works by maintaining constant pressure on an area of the affected muscles that is distal from the site of pain (in this case, moving away from the elbow a few inches towards the wrist). This creates a “new” origin for the muscle, allowing the portion of the tendon closer to the elbow time to heal and relax.
Stretching Should Also be Included in Your Recovery Program
It is good practice to include a stretching and strengthening program into your recovery as well. Stretching the extensor muscles of the forearm and strengthening the flexors will help alleviate pain and decrease the likelihood of developing lateral epicondylitis. Finally, chiropractic adjustments can allow the injury to heal quickly and thoroughly.