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Fix Your Chronic Elbow Pain

You probably have heard of Tennis Elbow or Lateral Epicondylitis…and you might be suffering from it…even if you don’t play tennis.
It is the number one reason to seek medical help when your elbow hurts and could have several causes.
It often occurs in the fourth decade of someone’s life but truly can show up at any age.
The most common and understood reason is repetitive gripping activities or overuse of the thumb, index and middle fingers. This can creates a strain from micro tears in tendons on the outside of your elbow. An avid tennis players is as likely to experience these symptoms as a carpenter, a painter, a knitter or someone that is jackhammering or typing on a keyboard at work.
Because this is the common reasons, a lot of patients that receive physical therapy treatments to fix this problem are exposed to the same cookie cutter treatment combination of ice/ultrasound/wrist and elbow stretches and strengthening.
This often has limited long lasting effect as it addresses symptoms but fail to address the cause as pain on the outside of your elbow.
A proficient therapist should evaluate from neck down to wrist and hand to accurately identify cause of your pain.
Lateral elbow pain can often be referred from neck joint(s), or nerve roots that are not allowed to move normally, from a stiff elbow or wrist joint where the bones are stuck in a faulty positional and not able to move through their range, from a stiff ribcage that creates strain further down the arm when you pitch or throw a ball or does not allow for enough movement of the nerve traveling down from your neck to your arm, and also simply from chronic tightness in muscles and fascia in your arm, not allowing your radial nerve to move correctly, placing pressure on/compressing the nerve, which translates into pain on the outside of the elbow. 

A therapist trained in manual therapy, neuro-dynamics and pain science should be on your top list when you are seriously considering treatment options to address your pain…even if you have had the cookie cutter treatment mentioned previously. No other professional will be as proficient as analyzing what structure or specific movement is at the source of that nag hanging on the outside of your arm. And that could save you from an avoidable surgery.

Try these following exercises to start helping yourself…

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3 thoughts on “Fix Your Chronic Elbow Pain”

  1. When I playing tennis in a match i always play very defensive and miss easy shots because i don’t go for them, but i don’t go for them because i am scared i will mess the shot up. When i’m just practicing I hit nice, hard, solid shots and i play very well. Is there anyway i can improve this and be able to play aggresive in practice and match? or is it just a mental thing?

  2. Hi Linda,
    as a tennis player myself, I know tennis is a huge mental game as well. I think the problem you re having is a mental thing/ concentration/ confidence and does not seem physical in any way.
    Having identified what you think is problem, I would just “go for it”. Maybe don’t over think your shot and think you re still practicing. 🙂

  3. Most tennis elbow braces, consists of a Velcro strap that you tighten around your forearm about two inches from your elbow. The tennis elbow braces help by taking the forces of the forearm muscles off the injured tendon and places it further down the arm, allowing the tendon to heal.

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