Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis)

Tendonitis means inflammation of the tendon. Although the word “Tendonitis” is often used, it is actually an out-dated term. The suffix “itis” in tendonitis means inflammation, however, research has shown that it is really a build up of scar tissue and decrease in collagen that is the problem, not inflammation. Therefore, the newer term that replaces tendonitis is “Tendinosis”, which denotes the scar tissue accumulation, and collagen change.

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Tennis elbow is an irritation of the forearm extensor tendons that attach to the outside of the elbow. These tendons attach to muscles that are responsible for bending the wrist backward. The term Tennis elbow is used because this condition most commonly affects tennis players with their backhand stroke. Tennis elbow is a repetitive strain injury with scar tissue formation that can become chronic if left untreated. The pain is aggravated by activities such as tennis, cooking, gardening, typing, and lifting weights. The pain is usually at its worst when grasping an object with the elbow in an extended position. The loss of grip strength and accompanying pain are difficult to tolerate for an active patient.

A Functional Rehabilitation program comprised of stretching and strengthening exercising are incorporated into the treatment plan once the scar tissue has been “broken up” by Targeted Soft Tissue Therapy to reduce the possibility of re-injury. Acupuncture has a great success rate for treating this condition and may be incorporated into the treatment plan.