Tennis elbow is a common malady. It is a problem that produces outer, or lateral, elbow pain. It was obviously named because it seen frequently in tennis players, but tennis is not the only way to develop this injury. Many forms of overuse of the elbow and wrist can lead it.
Many physicians have found this relatively simple problem to be difficult to treat and it often seems resistant to treatment. One of the problems is that many people have outer, or lateral, elbow pain that was assumed to be tennis elbow when in fact it is not tennis elbow.
Patients with lateral elbow pain may also have torn ligaments in the elbow which make the elbow less stable and the same muscles and tendons involved in tennis elbow have to work too hard to compensate. Other patients may have lost rotation in the shoulder which is common in overhead athletes. This loss of shoulder range of motion alters the normal follow-through movement of the serve and has been associated with tennis elbow. Some patients actually don’t have any problem with the tendons, muscles or ligaments to of the elbow but they have pain that is radiating form the neck. A few unfortunate patients have all of the problems above.
The doctors at the Soft Tissue Center have been able to help patients who have struggled with “tennis elbow” for years and have failed to respond to traditional care and cortisone injections. The first step is to exam the entire elbow structure, the shoulder and the cervical spine (neck). Once we can establish all of the contributing factors, our doctors can appropriately direct your care.
Overhead athletes such as baseball, tennis, and volleyball players as well as avid weight trainers can injure ligaments in the elbow. The most commonly injured ligament is ulnar collateral ligament on the inner side of the elbow. This ligament is overstretched, partially torn or sometimes completely torn. This injury can lead to local pain and it can create pain around the elbow.
Our doctors are board certified in chiropractic sports medicine and have extensive experience with elite athletes and can make this diagnosis and order the tests to confirm the injury(ies). This confirmation will determine the best options for treatment of the ligament injury.