Tennis Elbow Information

Tennis Elbow Information

Tennis elbow, also called lateral epicondylitis, is a frequently found form of tendonitis. A tendonitis injury involves tendon inflammation that occurs after repetitively stressing, overusing, or suffering a traumatic injury to the tendon involved. As one might have already deduced, tennis elbow is a fairly common injury in sports, especially among tennis athletes or frequent tennis players.

 

 

 

Tennis Elbow

Anatomy As It Relates To Tennis Elbow

Functionally, the elbow is comprised of two joints. The first joint allows for flexing (bending) and extending (straightening). The second allows for pronation (meaning palm down) and supination ( meaning palm up) arm movements. The medial collateral ligament serves to protect the inside medial area of the joint. On the other hand, the lateral collateral ligament serves to protect the outside lateral area of the joint. Tough bands of connective tissue in the elbow, also called tendons, connect extensor and flexor muscles to the arm bone (humerus.) The epicondyle, the bony prominence from where the medical name for tennis elbow is derived, is where the tendons of the elbow insert into the humerus. It's at this junction that elbow tendinitis pain and inflammation most often occurs.

What Is Tennis Elbow?

Tennis Elbow is inflammation in the elbow joint region where the forearm extensor muscles fastens to the lateral epicondyle of the humerus. The result is pain and tenderness in the lateral elbow and upper forearm.

Tennis Elbow Causes

Tennis Elbow is caused by either a repetitive stress or overuse injury at the muscle-tendon insertion point or a traumatic blunt force injury to the area. While some may think that tennis elbow only affects tennis players, it can actually affect anyone. The term tennis elbow is applicable because over half of professional tennis players will develop the condition during their career, mainly because the specific movements involved in playing the game are extremely likely to cause the injury. That said, anyone that heavily utilizes their wrist and forearm muscles for repetitive motion is at a high risk of developing tennis elbow. Common causes include the following:

* Work-related movements, sport movements, hobbies, and such that involve repetitive overuse of pronation and supination forearm movements.
* A trauma to the lateral epicondyle area from a direct hitting impact, fall, or other traumatic incident.

Tennis Elbow Symptoms

* Tenderness and pain over the lateral epicondyle
* Pain may radiate from the elbow to the forearm
* Pain on resisted wrist and/or middle finger dorsiflexion
* Usually only the dominate hand will be affected by tennis elbow, but around 10 to 20% may experience bilateral injury
* Pain will usually gradually increase in intensity over a period of time with an overuse or stress injury
* Pain will usually appear suddenly with injuries related to trauma.

 

Strengthening Exercises

These Elbow Exercises are ideal to build strength and flexibility.

Massage Treatment

These Elbow Massage Techniques are of great value in pain relief; circulation stimulation; dispersing blood and fluid accumulations; swelling reduction; and relaxing muscle spasms, especially when used alongside the Sinew Therapeutics liniments and soaks.

 

ACUTE STAGE SYMPTOMS AND TREATMENT

 

This stage is characterized by swelling, redness, pain, and possibly a local sensation of heat, indicating inflammation. If coolness makes your pain feel better, then the Acute Stage Treatment is recommended.

 

ACUTE STAGE SYMPTOMS:

 

The acute stage starts the moment an injury occurs and lasts until the swelling and inflammation are gone. The swelling is the result of the blockage of blood, tissue fluids and circulation in the elbow because their normal movement has been disrupted by the force of the injury. Just like cars back up behind a traffic jam, causing congestion, exhaust and overheating; blood and fluids back up behind the injured elbow, causing pain, inflammation, lumps and swelling.

The sensation of heat is due to the warming action of the blood and fluids overheating in the injured elbow as they back up and accumulate. Stiffness and decreased mobility are due to spasms in tendons and ligaments that have contracted reflexively beyond their normal range from the impact of the injury.

As ligaments and tendons stretch and tear, blood from ruptured blood vessels becomes trapped in the local tissues. As the trapped blood clots up, it sticks the tissues together creating adhesions. Adhesions cause pain, inflammation and restricted movement because the layers of tissue that used to slide smoothly across one another now adhere and snap which interferes with normal functioning. It is essential to break up clotted blood as quickly as possible to prevent adhesions and scar tissue from forming.

During the acute stage it is very important to restore normal circulation to the elbow, break up clotted blood and stagnant fluids, reduce swelling, and reduce the redness and heat associated with inflammation. By restoring the flow of blood, fluids, and circulation in the elbow, then pain is relieved, damaged tissues can regenerate with healthy functional tissue, and the elbow can strengthen and regain it's mobility.

 

ACUTE STAGE TREATMENT:

 

1. Apply the Sinew Herbal Ice on your elbow to reduce redness, swelling, and inflammation while dispersing accumulated blood and fluids to help restore normal circulation to the elbow. This first-aid treatment is used in place of ice to significantly speed up the healing process. It reduces the swelling and inflammation more effectively than ice, allowing you to more quickly regain range of motion. Acute Sinew Liniment can be used in-between applications.

Ice is not recommended because it does not help repair damaged tissues and keeps everything in the injured area frozen, causing the stagnation of blood and fluids and the contraction of muscles, tendons and ligaments. In Chinese sports medicine ice is not used and is considered a culprit in injuries that donít heal well.

2. Massage your elbow with Acute Sinew Liniment to relieve pain, reduce swelling and inflammation, break up clotted blood and stagnant fluids, and stimulate circulation of blood and fluids to help cells quickly repair damaged tissues. Sinew Herbal Ice can be used in-between applications.

3. The Sinew Sports Massage Oil is recommended for use before and after exercise, sports and strenuous activity. It warms and stimulates your muscles, increases circulation and relieves tightness, hence improving your performance and helping to prevent injury.

 

 

CHRONIC STAGE SYMPTOMS AND TREATMENT

 

This stage begins once the swelling and inflammation are gone, but you still feel pain, stiffness, weakness, and/or sensitivity in cold and damp weather. If heat makes your pain feel better, then the Chronic Stage Treatment is recommended.


CHRONIC STAGE SYMPTOMS:

 

The chronic stage begins once the swelling and inflammation are gone, but you still feel aching pain and stiffness. This is because there are still accumulations of stagnant blood and fluids in your elbow that are blocking circulation and blood supply to damaged tissues, creating residual pain, stiffness and weakness. You may actually feel hard nodules like sand in the tissue, indicating accumulation, calcification, and adhesions, which all cause pain, stiffness, and joint instability.

Your elbow may feel more sensitive to the cold and ache in cold and damp weather due to impaired circulation. When you move your elbow you may hear a clicking or popping sound from the tendons and ligaments slipping very slightly in and out of their natural alignment indicating weakness and joint instability, causing chronic pain and a cycle of reinjury. These symptoms are often the result of failure to treat the injury properly from the outset and overicing.

Increasing circulation and blood supply to the damaged tissues is very important in treating chronic injuries because tendons and ligaments do not have an extensive direct supply of blood. That is why chronic injuries can be slow to heal. Increasing local circulation also prevents cold and dampness from penetrating the injured area, preventing pain and stiffness.

During the chronic stage it is very important to break up remaining accumulations of blood and fluids, and increase circulation and blood supply to the damaged tissues. By increasing circulation and blood flow in the elbow, then pain and stiffness is relieved, and the tendons and ligaments can strengthen to restore stability.


CHRONIC STAGE TREATMENT:

 

1. Massage your elbow with Chronic Sinew Liniment to relieve pain and stiffness, strongly stimulate circulation and blood flow to damaged tissues, and promote the healing of overstretched tendons and ligaments. Sinew Injury Poultice can be used in-between applications.

2. Apply the Sinew Injury Poultice on your elbow to relieve residual pain and stiffness, significantly stimulate circulation and blood flow to damaged tissues, and further promote the healing of overstretched tendons and ligaments. The Sinew Injury Poultice is particularly useful if your elbow is more painful in cold and damp weather. Chronic Sinew Liniment can be used in-between applications.

3. The Sinew Sports Massage Oil is recommended for use before and after exercise, sports and strenuous activity. It warms and stimulates your muscles, increases circulation and relieves tightness, hence improving your performance and helping to prevent injury.