Most elbow injuries are due to injury, overuse or chronic or repetitive strain secondary to sports or occupational repetitive stresses. In “tennis elbow” (not always caused by playing tennis) there is an overuse/overstrain of the muscles and ligaments that attach at the lateral part (outside) of the elbow. In “golfers’ elbow” (not always caused by playing golf), the pain is in the muscles and ligaments on the medial part (inside) of the elbow.
Symptoms include pain on the outer/inner side of the elbow and down the forearm; swelling, redness or feel warm to the touch; it may hurt to grip things, turn your hand, or swing your arm.
A thorough examination including orthopedic testing will help to determine your exact diagnosis and individualized treatment plan. Once a diagnosis has been reached, reducing the level of pain and inflammation around the elbow is of initial concern. Care consisting of ice, chiropractic joint manipulation, physiotherapy (electrical stimulation/ultrasound), massage, and acupuncture may be used to accomplish this goal. Therapeutic exercises will also be given to rehabilitate the injured, weakened tissues and overly tight muscles. Massage therapy and myofascial release techniques may also be used in conjunction with these other therapies in order to get the best results. Often a specialized brace will be given to prevent recurrent injury to the elbow during the healing process.
Not always thought of as a “chiropractic” condition by patients, chiropractic’s conservative approach to elbow pain is often very effective, avoiding more invasive, risky treatment options. For example, repetitive cortisone injection should be avoided as it has been well documented to cause tendon disruption, and places you at risk of further injury for 2 to 6 weeks following injection. However, if after examination we conclude that your case cannot be helped with conservative care, a prompt referral will be made.