Can a Chiropractor Help with Tennis Elbow

Ever felt the ache from tennis elbow while trying to enjoy a game? You’re not alone.

Many folks deal with this bothersome issue that interferes with daily activities. Tennis elbow causes pain on the outside of the elbow, making everyday tasks uncomfortable.

Now, the question arises: can a chiropractor help with tennis elbow? The answer is Yes. Chiropractors can help treat tennis elbow through shockwave therapy, spinal adjustments, exercises, and lifestyle advice for better joint function and pain relief.

Imagine having them on your team to tackle that pesky tennis elbow. Ready to explore this game-changing partnership? Let’s discuss the role of a chiropractor for tennis elbow treatment in detail.

What is a Tennis Elbow?

Tennis elbow, also known medically as lateral epicondylitis, is a disorder that impacts the outside of the elbow. It is characterized by pain and inflammation of the tendons that join the forearm muscles outside the elbow.

Tennis elbow can affect anyone who does repetitive arm and wrist movements, not just tennis players, says the Mayo Clinic. People often associate the condition with activities like playing racquet sports, typing, carpentry, or any task that involves gripping and repetitive wrist extension.

How Does Tennis Elbow Happen?

Tennis elbow occurs when the repetitive use of the forearm muscles and tendons leads to tiny tears in the tendon attachment at the lateral epicondyle, a bony bump on the outer part of the elbow.

Activities that strain and overload the forearm muscles can cause stress on the tendons, leading to microtears. It can lead to swelling, discomfort, and a decreased ability to grip objects tightly.

Identifying and addressing the activities contributing to the condition is essential to manage symptoms effectively and prevent further strain on the affected tendons.

Chiropractic Care Overview

  • Chiropractic care is a holistic approach to health that emphasizes the body’s ability to heal itself. At its core is the practice of chiropractic adjustments, which focus on optimizing the spine’s alignment.

    Chiropractors believe that misalignments, or subluxations, can disrupt the nervous system, affecting overall health. They gently manipulate the spine through manual techniques, promoting proper alignment and enhancing the body’s natural healing processes.

The Connection Between the Spine and Tennis Elbow

Think of your spine as the body’s message highway. Sometimes, misalignment can disrupt the signals going to your elbow. It can lead to issues like tennis elbow.

Studies show that fixing spine misalignments can help with elbow problems. So, if you’re dealing with tennis elbow, it might be worth checking if your spine is in good shape. Getting help to align your spine from a tennis elbow chiropractor could be a way to keep your muscles and joints working smoothly.

Shock Wave Therapy for Tennis Elbow

Shockwave therapy, or ESWT, is a widely used and successful treatment for chronic tennis elbow. It is non-invasive and utilizes sound waves to heal and reduce pain.

Chiropractors use it to treat various orthopedic conditions, including tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis). Here’s how shockwave therapy can help treat tennis elbow:

1. Stimulates Blood Flow and Tissue Repair

Shockwave therapy promotes increased blood flow to the affected area, enhancing the body’s natural healing process. Improved blood circulation helps deliver essential nutrients and oxygen to the damaged tissues, facilitating tissue repair.

2. Reduces Inflammation

Inflammation of the tendons in the forearm is often associated with tennis elbow. Shockwave therapy has anti-inflammatory effects, helping to reduce swelling and inflammation in the affected area.

3. Breaks Down Scar Tissue

Chronic tennis elbow can lead to the formation of scar tissue in the affected tendons. Shockwave therapy can break down these adhesions and scar tissue, promoting better tissue flexibility and reducing pain.

4. Stimulates Collagen Production

Shockwave therapy stimulates the production of collagen, an essential protein in connective tissues. It can contribute to the healing and strengthening of the damaged tendons in the elbow.

5. Pain Reduction

Shockwave therapy can help reduce pain associated with tennis elbow by modulating pain signals and promoting healing. Many patients experience a significant reduction in pain levels after undergoing shockwave therapy.

Shock Wave Therapy for Tennis Elbow

Recovery Period of Tennis Elbow with Shockwave Therapy

The recovery period for tennis elbow with shockwave therapy typically varies from 3 to 12 weeks. The majority of patients experience significant improvement within 6 to 8 weeks after treatment. However, some people may require multiple sessions or heal gradually.

Chiropractic Techniques for Tennis Elbow Relief

Chiropractor tennis elbow employs a combination of methods to address tennis elbow symptoms. The techniques include,

1. Soft Tissue Manipulation

Soft tissue manipulation stands out as a therapeutic approach for tennis elbow. Chiropractors use hands-on techniques to treat the muscles, tendons, and ligaments around the affected elbow, says the National Institute of Health.

How It Helps

Increased Blood Flow

Chiropractors apply pressure to the soft tissues, which dilates blood vessels, allowing for improved circulation.

Improved blood flow helps remove waste and toxins and brings healing cells to the area for tissue repair.

Reduced Muscle Tension

Chiropractors use a combination of techniques, including massage, stretching, and pressure-point manipulation, to target specific areas of tension. This targeted approach helps to relax the muscles and promote flexibility.

2. Joint Adjustments

Joint adjustments, also known as spinal manipulations, are therapeutic interventions commonly performed by chiropractors. These adjustments use controlled force or pressure on certain joints in the spine or other body parts to fix alignment.

How It Helps

Improved Joint Mobility
  1. Realignment: Joints can become misaligned due to poor posture, repetitive movements, trauma, or aging. Misalignments, or subluxations, can lead to stiffness and restricted movement. Joint adjustments aim to correct these misalignments by applying specific and targeted forces to the affected joints.
  2. Reduction of Restrictions: There is a noticeable improvement in joint mobility when joints are correctly aligned. It is especially crucial in the spine, where the vertebrae articulate with each other. Better mobility makes it easier to move joints, reducing stiffness and allowing more flexibility in movement.
Enhanced Nerve Function
  1. Pressure on Nerves: Misaligned joints can exert pressure on surrounding nerves, leading to irritation and dysfunction. A chiropractor corrects the misaligned vertebrae in the spine to relieve pain, numbness, or tingling in that area.
  2. Pain Reduction – Chiropractic adjustments help alleviate nerve pressure by restoring proper joint alignment. It, in turn, can contribute to a reduction in pain and discomfort. Nerves are crucial in transmitting signals between the brain and various body parts. Improved nerve function can positively impact overall health. 

3. Therapeutic Exercises

Therapeutic exercises are vital to rehabilitation programs prescribed by healthcare professionals, including chiropractors, to address various musculoskeletal issues.

How It Helps

Muscle Strengthening

One of the primary objectives of therapeutic exercises is to strengthen weakened muscles. It is essential in cases where muscle imbalances or weakness contribute to the individual’s condition, such as musculoskeletal injuries or chronic pain.

Selected exercises strengthen specific muscles, restoring balance and stability to the affected area.

Enhanced Flexibility

Therapeutic exercises also include specific stretches aimed at improving flexibility. Enhanced flexibility is crucial for maintaining optimal joint function and preventing future injuries.

Stretching helps joints move better, reduces tight muscles, and improves flexibility.

Chiropractic Techniques for Tennis Elbow Relief

Recovery Period of Tennis Elbow with Chiropractic Techniques

The recovery period for tennis elbow with chiropractic techniques can vary depending on the severity of the injury, the individual’s overall health, and their compliance with treatment recommendations. 

However, in general, most people can expect to see some improvement within 2-4 weeks of starting chiropractic care. Full recovery typically takes 6-12 months, but some people may experience pain for up to 2 years.

Related: How to get rid of a runner’s knee?

Collaboration with Healthcare Professionals

It’s crucial to adopt a collaborative approach involving various healthcare professionals for effective management of tennis elbow. Get advice from a chiropractor, physical therapists, and orthopedic specialists for a comprehensive treatment plan.

This multidisciplinary strategy comprehensively addresses different aspects of the condition, leading to optimal results. Every professional has other skills and knowledge which help relieve pain, rehabilitate, and prevent it.

Healthcare experts collaborate to create personalized plans for faster recovery and overall well-being.

Preventing Tennis Elbow: Chiropractors Tips

Apart from therapies, a chiropractor also suggests preventive measures. These tips can help you manage the pain and discomfort of tennis elbow in the long run. The tips include,

1. Ergonomic Awareness

Maintain proper ergonomics during daily activities. Set up your workspace to minimize strain on your arms and wrists.

2. Strengthening Exercises

Incorporate gentle strengthening exercises for the forearm and wrist. Squeezing a stress ball or using resistance bands can help build muscle support.

Preventing Tennis Elbow Chiropractors Tips

3. Technique Matters

Chiropractors stress the importance of proper technique in sports and daily tasks. Whether playing tennis or lifting objects, use the correct form to reduce undue stress on your elbows.

4. Reducing Recurrence: Lifestyle Changes

Regular Breaks During Repetitive Activities

Take breaks during repetitive activities. Stand up, stretch, and change positions regularly to avoid prolonged stress at a desk.

Balance Activities to Over Muscle Overuse

It is essential to diversify your physical activities to prevent overuse of specific muscles. Engage in a variety of exercises to promote overall musculoskeletal health.

Ice and Rest

At the first sign of discomfort, apply ice and allow ample time for rest. Pay attention to your body and avoid pressing yourself through pain.

Proactive Self-Care for Overall Health

Take Care of Proper Hydration and Nutrition

Stay hydrated to maintain joint health, and consume a balanced diet of nutrients to support muscle function.

Regular Chiropractic Check-ups

Schedule periodic chiropractic check-ups to address any imbalances or misalignments before they lead to more significant issues

Mindful Movement

Do yoga or tai chi to improve flexibility and care for your muscles and bones.

Ready to serve an ace against tennis elbow pain?

Schedule an appointment with Aloha Sports Chiropractor for personalized relief and a swift return to the game!

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Wrapping Up

Chiropractic care offers promising benefits for tennis elbow relief, focusing on natural, non-invasive methods. For the best outcomes, you must consult with healthcare professionals. 

Tailoring treatment plans to individual needs ensures effective and personalized care, fostering a path towards lasting recovery.

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