The best physical therapists in Chenoweth may be able to help relieve pain from many different medical conditions. Physical therapy can improve symptoms in many systems of the body, one of the most common of which is the musculoskeletal system. Tennis elbow is a painful condition affecting the tendons in the arm.
Symptoms and Causes of Tennis Elbow
Tennis elbow is the more common term for a condition called lateral epicondylitis. It is characterized by pain in the outer part of your arm, just above the elbow. The pain may be greater at night or with certain activities.
Lateral epicondylitis is a repetitive use injury caused by excessive extension of the wrist. Wrist extension is a motion that brings the back of your hand closer to your arm. The forearm muscles that control this movement have tendons that connect to the humerus at a point just above the elbow joint. Overworking the wrist causes inflammation of these tendons that causes the pain of lateral epicondylitis.
Lateral epicondylitis can indeed be caused by playing tennis or other racquet sports. However, most of the people affected do not play tennis. Lateral epicondylitis is common in people with jobs or hobbies that require frequent gripping or repetitive arm movements. Painters and carpenters are particularly susceptible, as are people who do a lot of typing.
Top 3 Treatments
Tennis elbow treatment has a good chance of succeeding. Most patients recover completely, and only a few need surgery. There are many different treatment options for lateral epicondylitis, but here are some of the most popular.
- Rest: If you can avoid the activities that cause your symptoms, it gives your tendons a chance to heal. However, it is not always possible to avoid the activities completely, especially if they are required for your job.
- Bracing: Tennis elbow straps and other bracing options help to relieve pressure on the tendons.
- Physical Therapy: Working with a physical therapist can help to relieve symptoms and prevent future complaints.
How a Physical Therapist Can Help
Physical therapy for tennis elbow can take many different forms. Your therapist may start with pain relief modalities to lessen symptoms. An example may be iontophoresis to deliver anti-inflammatory medication through the skin to the tendon using a mild electrical current.
Once your pain is gone, your therapist may move on to stretching and strengthening exercises of your arm. These exercises help your muscles work more efficiently, which puts less of a strain on the tendons. Some physical therapy exercises may also help with pain relief. At first, the physical therapist may guide you through the exercises during sessions in the clinic. When you have learned them, your therapist may instruct you to continue performing them on your own at home.
Another way that a physical therapist can help you with tennis elbow is with an ergonomic evaluation. This is to determine the activities that are causing your symptoms and teach you best practices for performing them that do not put pressure on your tendons.
Tennis elbow is only one of many conditions that physical therapy can help treat. For example, if you are asking yourself, “What would be an effective treatment for knee pain near me?” physical therapy may be the answer.