Chiropractic care for elbow pain should be a first line treatment, and evidence supports its use before surgery or steroid injections. These more invasive treatments have their place, but most providers agree conservative care for elbow injuries should be the first step. Chiropractors can treat tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow with a number of treatment strategies that have the support of scientific evidence. The nature of tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow injuries is similar and mostly differs in the location of pain and injury. Tennis elbow is tendonitis or tendinopathy in the lateral (outside) part of the forearm, this is why healthcare providers call it lateral epicondylitis.
Golfer’s elbow is tendonitis or tendinopathy of the medial (inside) part of the forearm, so it’s known as medial epicondylitis. Either one of these complaints can involve other portions of the forearm and elbow as well, and presentations vary on a case by case basis. Let’s look at some of the treatments our Cary NC chiropractors use to address elbow pain.
Chiropractic Adjustments for Elbow Pain
This is a great chiropractic treatment for tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow. Manipulation and mobilization (commonly called chiropractic adjustments) involve restoring movement to joints in the elbow, or other parts of the functional movement chain that are either fixated, have movement dysfunction or have an alignment issue. A review of scientific studies supports manipulation and mobilization for relieving pain associated with tendinopathy.
Graston Technique for Elbow Pain
Our chiropractors offer Graston Technique for tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow as well. Graston Technique is a procedure in which a specific tool is used to treat the tendon area that is inflamed, damaged or painful. This brings blood flow to the region, helps bring cells to the area to rebuild and heal, and also addresses any fascia or soft tissue that may be complicating the tendinopathy. Simply, Graston Technique promotes correct healing of the soft tissues. At AccessHealth our chiropractors are specifically trained on using Graston for tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow.
If you’re unfamiliar with Graston, or just want to see what Graston Technique for elbow treatment looks like, check out this video.
Ultrasound Treatment for Elbow Pain
Ultrasound is one of the most effective treatments for tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow that chiropractors use and is supported by a review of available evidence. Ultrasound treatment uses sound waves to target inflamed tissue and reduce inflammation, as well as provide a deep heat into the soft tissues. It’s a comfortable and easy experience from a patient perspective and an excellent treatment available to chiropractors in our Cary clinic.
Acupuncture and Dry Needling for Elbow Pain
Our chiropractors frequently provide acupuncture for tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow. Dry needling, an acupuncture type procedure also provides relief from elbow tendinopathy complaints and is an effective way to address trigger points in the forearm and elbow that are contributing to pain and dysfunction. If you have trigger points that are contributing to your specific case of elbow discomfort, our chiropractors may recommend acupuncture for tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow.
Exercises for Tennis Elbow and Exercises for Golfer’s Elbow
At AccessHealth Chiropractic Center our chiropractors put a huge emphasis on rehab exercises for elbow pain. For elbow tendonitis and tendinopathy, eccentric exercises are especially effective and supported by reviews of current research. Eccentric exercises are those which produce muscle contraction while it is lengthening. Long-term solutions for elbow pain must include exercises to create balance and proper function in the elbow and forearm.
Pain relief for tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow and also the management of these conditions ultimately requires a comprehensive treatment strategy. Our Cary chiropractors utilize many of these treatments to help tendinosis and tendonitis heal faster and to get you back to doing daily activities without pain. The overarching point should be that chiropractic care for tennis elbow and chiropractic care for golfer’s elbow is a good option to try first before more invasive medical procedures. Steroid injections and surgery have their own risks and costs and don’t guarantee positive outcomes. Feel free to give our Cary chiropractors a call if you have further questions on how chiropractic care can help with elbow pain.
I don't play tennis or golf, why do I have elbow pain?
Tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow are just common names for two types of elbow injuries. They are named after these sports because the movements in tennis can cause injury to the outside of the elbow and movements in golf can cause injury to the inside of the elbow. Don’t get too caught up in the nomenclature, most patients I see with elbow pain get it from something other than those two sports.
How do I know if a fracture is causing my elbow pain?
If you had a fall or traumatic injury prior to the onset of your elbow pain, we’ll almost always get an x-ray before we start treating it. This ensures that we have a clear picture before deciding the best route to recovery. Fractures in the area don’t typically happen without some sort of trauma. If your elbow started hurting gradually it’s usually because of something other than a fracture.
How many treatments do you do for elbow pain?
Our chiropractors typically start with 6-8 treatments, known as a trial of care. Many patients will have their elbow pain resolve, some will get partially better, and very few may not respond at all. It’s important to note that we’re upfront with you and you won’t feel like you have to keep coming back indefinitely.
Will elbow pain go away without treatment?
Some elbow pain will resolve without any attention, but it can be risky to assume it will. The longer elbow pain lasts, the more difficult it can be to rehab. In my professional opinion, it’s worth getting your elbow at least examined.
How do you know what's causing elbow pain without x-rays?
Location of tenderness, orthopedic tests, and your history of present illness are all tools our chiropractors take into consideration when diagnosing elbow pain. X-rays are not and should not be the first step in evaluating your elbow pain in most cases.
Could my elbow pain be coming from my neck?
Sometimes patients have pain in their arm, possibly near the elbow, that is originating in their neck. Cervical radiculopathy is the term for this type of injury. Cervical radiculopathy is a more serious problem, but still, one that chiropractors can address.