Lateral epicondylitis, or Tennis Elbow, can be a very painful condition. In some cases, it can persist and become chronic or can reoccur with repetitive activities. Athletes who require repetitive movements, as well as those whose jobs require recurring elbow and wrist function are the most likely to suffer.
The soft tissues of the wrist and elbow must be treated initially to allow the pain to decrease and for normal function and movement to improve. Another treatment consideration for those suffering from tennis elbow is the loss of strength that occurs while dealing with this painful issue and when to return to normal activity.
If someone is dealing with pain and weakness making it difficult to play a sport or perform other daily tasks, improving strength and loading the soft tissues must take place for the issue to fully resolve and lessen the likelihood of reoccurring. Specifically, eccentric loading has shown to be effective. In short, muscles will contract when we load them. During an eccentric contraction, the tissues are lengthening, while concentric contraction involves shortening tissues. Recommended exercises to those dealing with lateral epicondylitis will often include eccentric loading.
So to review, our initial goal of treatment is to reduce pain by reestablishing normal texture and tone to the soft tissues. Our treatment of choice is Active Release Technique. When the elbow pain has diminished enough to load it, we do just that, start loading more. This is will allow athletes to return to their sport and others to do their jobs without the fear of reoccurring elbow issues.
Watch our video below to learn more!
Dr. Abel Shaw is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He is also a Certified Provider of Active Release Technique. Dr. Shaw attended Logan College of Chiropractic in St. Louis Missouri where he completed his Doctor of Chiropractic degree. He has worked with athletes from the Missouri Baptist University, NAIA championship, women’s track, and field team and has been the team chiropractor for Mary Washington University Athletics. Dr. Abel Shaw is an Army veteran and has run both cross-country and track and field at Shippensburg University.