What is Golfer’s/Tennis Elbow?
Golfer’s Elbow (AKA medial epicondylopathy) and Tennis Elbow (lateral epicondylopathy) are nagging elbow injuries that affect millions of people daily. And no – you don’t have to be a golfer or a tennis player to have these injuries!
The biomechanics and mechanism of injury for these 2 injuries are the exact same. It is just simply a term for the inside of your elbow (golfers elbow) or the outside of your elbow (tennis elbow). All the extensor muscles in the forearm attach to the lateral epicondyle of the elbow and all the flexor muscles in the forearm attach to the medial epicondyle of the elbow.
Golfer’s and Tennis elbow are caused by repetitive overuse of the forearm muscles. The pain occurs on the elbow because that is the tendinous insertion point where all those muscles attach to the bone. Those muscles are constantly pulling on that bone, which causes inflammation and significant pain in the elbow region.
How do we treat golfer’s/tennis elbow?
The treatment strategy is relatively simple for how aggravating the symptoms are in these injuries. Put simply- we will create a controlled microinflammatory response to the tendons of the involved muscles to stimulate the healing process. This can be thought of as re-fraying a rope (the tendon) from the inside out. By creating a controlled micro-inflammatory response in these tendons, our body sends cells called fibroblasts that lay collagen (new tendon). The only way to do this effectively is by stressing the tendon properly with eccentric loads, and some passive modalities like IASTM, dry needling/acupuncture, fascial manipulation, etc. Every patient responds differently, but this usually only takes a few treatments (with proper at home stretches and exercises) for our patients to start see amazing results.
Like we mentioned, this is one of the simpler answers to a very aggravating injury if treated properly, and our patients at SWAT Chiropractic and Rehab with this condition have loved the results they’ve seen. If you know someone struggling with elbow pain, show this to them and send them our way. We would love to help!