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Consider Chiropractic Treatment When Other Treatments For Tennis Elbow Fail

Chiropractic treatment helps relieve pain associated with the body's joints and muscles, including the muscles and tendons around the elbow. Tennis elbow is a common repetitive stress injury that occurs mostly in adults. However, contrary to popular belief, fewer than 5 percent of individuals who suffer the condition get it from playing tennis.

Sometimes the condition is caused by a subluxation (misalignment) of the vertebrae in the lower neck or spine, which may make your symptoms unresponsive to conventional medical treatment. However, understanding more about tennis elbow can help you make a more informed decision about the treatment you choose.

Identify the Symptoms

In addition to outer elbow and forearm pain from inflamed and swollen muscles and tendons that are strained or torn, tennis elbow symptoms may include:

  • Shooting pain into the hands or neck

  • Numbness and tingling in the elbow region if swelling compresses sensory and motor nerves

  • Weakness when gripping, lifting, or carrying objects

  • Difficulty straightening the arm

  • Limited range of motion of the elbow and sometimes the wrist

  • Stiffness in the neck, shoulder, and upper back

Schedule a Chiropractic Evaluation

A chiropractor will examine the joints of the hand, wrist, elbow, shoulder, and neck to identify joint problems or bones that aren't properly aligned. Subluxations in the spine—often in the lower neck—can irritate spinal nerves that supply the elbow muscles. As a result, along with the pain you have in the affected arm, you may experience neck pain and referred pain in your shoulder and the middle of your back.

Discuss the Treatments Available

After correcting any subluxations in the neck, a chiropractor may use massage or trigger point therapy to increase blood circulation to the elbow and forearm area to reduce muscle spasms. Another treatment option is to alternate ice and heat treatments to relieve pain and swelling. As part of your recovery process, your chiropractor will also instruct you in stretching exercises and exercises to strengthen muscles and tendons in the forearm.

Home treatment measures your chiropractor may recommend in between chiropractic visits include:

  • Getting rest—including not engaging in the activity that caused the repetitive strain or overuse injury

  • Applying an ice pack to the area to reduce swelling and inflammation

  • Wearing a brace or strap to support the area or a compression sleeve to help protect elbow muscles and joints

  • Keeping the elbow elevated above the heart to reduce the accumulation of fluids due to inflammation

A chiropractor may also recommend improving your technique when playing tennis or changing how you garden, perform your job, or do other tasks that cause repetitive, forceful movements of the hand, wrist, and elbow.