With springtime in full swing and summertime on the horizon, many people are returning outside to play their favorite sports. Among them are tennis and golf. Both of these sports can be fun and leisurely, or highly competitive, depending on how you like to play. However, regardless of your skill level, if you play tennis and golf, you may potentially find yourself suffering from the conditions known as tennis or golf elbow.
If you’re ready to stop reading because you don’t play either sport, hold on, because these conditions, despite their names, can still potentially affect you! Yep, that’s right. If you have a job that requires repetitive movements that largely affect the tendons in the elbow, you might find yourself at risk! Occupations like plumber, painter, butcher, and carpenter are more susceptible to developing these conditions due to their specific movements.
While over-the-counter pain relievers can be effective for temporarily treating mild cases, these untreated elbow conditions often lead to surgery. However, don’t go panicking yet because chiropractors can also remedy the situation AND prevent further damage from occurring in the future.
Defining Tennis Elbow and Golfers Elbow
Before we can recommend a form of treatment, let’s break down these conditions and how their symptoms manifest. That way, you can determine whether you should look into seeking professional help from a chiropractor.
What is Tennis Elbow?
Tennis Elbow (lateral epicondylitis) is a condition that occurs when the tendons in your elbow are overloaded. This tends to occur when your wrist and arm undergo repetitive motions like they would during a tennis match. Naturally, given its name, the pain of the tennis elbow occurs primarily in the space where the tendons of your forearm muscles attach to a bony bump on the outside of your elbow. In severe cases, you can also feel pain in your forearm and wrist. If you find daily tasks difficult like turning a doorknob or holding a coffee cup, you might be suffering from tennis elbow. While we already know that playing tennis is a risk factor, so are other racket sports, and occupations that involve repetitive motions of the wrist and arm.
What is a Golfers Elbow?
Golfers elbow and tennis elbow are very similar, however, while tennis elbow is a condition of the lateral (outside) epicondyle tendon, golfer’s elbow is a condition of the medial (or inside) epicondyle tendon. Basically, people with golfer’s elbow experience an inner elbow pain, that can extend to the fingers creating numbness and tingling. Golfers elbow is also not exclusive to those who play the sport, and in fact, can be found in people who repeatedly use their wrists or clench their fingers. Your typical symptoms will manifest as pain and tenderness, stiffness in the elbow, weakness, and numbness or tingling. If your elbow is hot and inflamed, unable to bend, and/or looks deformed, it’s time to get help.
How A Chiropractor Can Help Treat These Conditions
A lot of times doctors who diagnose these conditions will recommend home remedies in mild cases. Still, for more severe circumstances a lot of patients will find themselves looking at potential surgeries. In fairness, for those whose cases are very severe, surgery is probably a viable option. However, just because over-the-counter pain relievers and other at-home remedies are no longer working, or haven’t worked previously, doesn’t mean you’re destined for surgery. Reputable chiropractors can definitely be of assistance and treat the conditions. When it comes to chiropractic care Cornelius NC intervention, there are a few methods and treatments that your chiropractor might recommend in treating your condition. It’s important to always get the advice of a professional because each case of tennis or golfer’s elbow is slightly different, and there are also other factors to consider, primarily- the severity of the case.
Here are some of the treatment methods chiropractors use that can be helpful in treating tennis and golfer’s elbow(s)
Chiropractic Adjustments: A lot of people might be surprised to find out that chiropractic adjustments, especially those targeted at the spine, can actually still be helpful to those trying to heal their elbow pain. Why is this so? Because a lot of extremity pain actually originates from the spine and occurs as a result of misalignment. Adjustments have been found to decrease pain, improve grip strength, and decrease overall disability. A lot of studies have also found that “conservative” approaches to treatment are extremely effective. Conservative in this context means treatment that is over a prolonged period of time and minimally invasive. A chiropractic adjustment is especially effective because it focuses on treating the root cause of the issue while also attending to the patient’s pain. Whereas some treatment methods are strictly used to manage the pain. In essence, chiropractic adjustment has been shown to be highly effective in treating these cases, as they help to reduce inflammation, improve joint mobility, and alleviate pain.
Therapeutic Exercises: Therapeutic exercises often go hand in hand with adjustments because most chiropractors focus on both treating the pain and preventing further injuries from occurring in the future. A lot of times if you’ve sustained an injury or developed a condition, you are more likely to have recurring issues in the future stemming from the condition(s). Chiropractors will often show patients ways to modify their form so that in the future, they’re not faced with leftover symptoms and problems. Over time these exercises can also help to strengthen parts of the body, especially those areas that have been compromised.
And Other Methods: Cornelius chiropractors also have a series of machinery at their disposal that might be effective depending on the nature of your tennis/golfer’s elbow. Moreover, your chiropractor might decide to implement multiple types of treatment methods to give you the most effective outcome possible. Chiropractors have a lot of tools at their disposal to make your healing journey successful. At the same time, they can ensure you’re prepared to return to your occupation or favorite physical activity.
The Bottom Line?
If at-home methods aren’t cutting it anymore, don’t resign yourself to surgery before trying a conservative, minimally invasive approach like chiropractic care. This route of treatment will save you money, and healing time, and help you prevent further injuries from occurring by teaching you how to successfully modify your form. In any case, it’s worth looking into chiropractic care before committing to something much more invasive, like surgery.
At Lakeside Sports Chiropractic and Motorsports Rehab in Cornelius, NC, Dr. Jennifer Lidstrom and her team of experts is here to help answer all your questions. Please feel free to contact us today.