If you’re looking for the best treatments for tennis elbow, you’ll be happy to know there are plenty of non-surgical, pain-free, and effective treatments available. Home treatments for tennis elbow can often be effective in minor cases of tennis elbow, but if you’re elbow is really painful and has lasted over a month you should seek treatment.
As a chiropractor who frequently works with atheltes and active patients, I’ve treated tennis elbow on a daily basis for a number of years in my Cary chiropractic office. It can be a painful and debilitating condition, so patient’s are often really happy when we can relieve tennis elbow and get them back to being active again.
Let’s dive into chiropratic for tennis elbow. I’ll cover the best treatment for tennis elbow, my favorite treatment for tennis elbow, and home care strategies for tennis elbow.
Exercises for Tennis Elbow
The best treatment to relieve tennis elbow pain is to do rehab exercises. There are a few simple and effective exercises you can perform using a Theraband (resistance band), light weights, or a Therabar. If you’re not familiar with a Therabar, and you’re suffering from tennis elbow, you definitely need to get one. Therabar exercises are the GOLD STANDARD for relieving tennis elbow pain and building back strength in your elbow, forearm, and wrist.
Exercises for tennis elbow are so important, that even if you’re getting some of the other treatments I cover in this article, you should still be doing rehab exercises at the same time. Simply put, tennis elbow exercises are the most important treatment tool you should be using. If you’re sick of elbow pain and weakness, exercises for your elbow will make a big difference in gettng you better.
*** They’re so important, that I made this video (see below) to teach you how to do tennis elbow exercises! ***
Graston Treatment for Tennis Elbow
Treating tennis elbow with graston treatment is effective for reducing pain and speeding up healing. Remember, tennis elbow is the result of tendon injury. Whether it’s due to an acute injury or from repetitive chronic stress, the extensor tendons of the elbow are the main damaged area. This is where Graston Technique can play a role and is a great treatment for tennis elbow.
What is Graston Technique?
Graston Technique is a form of manual therapy and is also known as Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM).
Why is Graston Good for Tennis Elbow?
- Treatment increases local blood flow to local tissues treated.
- Treatment increases cellular activity in the region, including fibroblasts which are cells build tendons and connective tissue.
- Treatment inhibits muscle guarding in the affected areas which results in less pain.
- Treatment Technique breaks down collagen cross-links which can be in areas where healing is poor and disorganized.
Does Graston for Tennis Elbow Hurt?
No, Graston for tennis elbow doesn’t hurt. In fact, it feels pretty good when the instruments glide over the area and increased blood flow starts warming everything up.
I have some other content where I dig more into the specifics of Graston treatment for tennis elbow. If you’re looking at tennis elbow treatments I would recommend reading more about Graston Technique and how it can help here –> Graston Technique for Tennis Elbow
These are some of the instruments used for Graston treatment and tennis elbow. Graston Technique is an effective treatment for tennis elbow and I almost always use it in my treatments.
Dry Needling for Tennis Elbow Pain
Dry needling is the primary treatment I use in my chiropractic and rehab office to address tennis elbow complaints. Tennis elbow exercises are the most important treatment, but dry needling is my favorite treatment. Why is it my favorite treatment for tennis elbow?
It relieves elbow pain, and it can fix tennis elbow fast.
I’ve had patients suffering from tennis elbow who had complete relief in as little as 2 treatments of dry needling. I would say that many patients have significant or complete relief in 4-6 visits. That’s incredibly fast considering most patients have been dealing with elbow pain for months before they finally seek treatment.
Dry needling for tennis elbow involves using small needles to release trigger points, tension, and painful areas of the elbow and forearm. It has so many great effects that help you relieve tennis elbow quicker that any other single treatment in my opinion.
If you’re not even sure what dry needling is, or just want some more details (including research articles) on dry needling for tennis elbow you should read more about it on my blog here –> Dry Needling for Tennis Elbow
This image shows the common trigger points (muscle knots) in the elbow and forearm. If you have tennis elbow these trigger points are most likely causing some of your elbow pain.
How Do You Treat Tennis Elbow at Home?
There are a few effective home treatments you can try for tennis elbow. If you’ve got a mild case of tennis elbow, these may relieve it completely and you can move on with your life. For most developed cases of tennis elbow, you probably need to see a healthcare professional. Still, these are worth a try and they’re not going to make it worse.
Countertension brace. Countertension braces work by taking the load off of the damaged tendon and providing another anchor point for the muscles to pull on. They’re not expensive, not that intrusive to wear, and can help tennis elbow heal. This is the one I recommend for my patients.
Heat or alternating ice and heat. Inflammation isn’t the issue when it comes to tennis elbow, so throw the old “heat will just increase inflammation” notion away. Heat will bring more blood and important cells that help the healing process. Sometimes alternating with some ice creates a pumping sort of action and is helpful. Stay away from primarily icing the area. Don’t heat/cool for longer than 15 minutes.
Self Cross-Friction Massage. Believe it or not, this can help. Rubbing perpendicular to the painful tendons can encourage the action of healing cells to heal tennis elbow. It also feels pretty good usually.
Kinesiotape. You may need to have your chiropractor put this on for you if you’re unfamiliar with it. If you’ve used it before, you can probably figure it out. Try using kinesiotape on the area to encourage blood/lymphatic flow and to lift up the tissues over the area.
Dr. Jason Williams DC is a chiropractor in Cary, NC at AccessHealth Chiropractic Center. He treats pain and injuries involving muscles, joints, and nerves using chiropractic manipulation (adjustments), sports dry needling, Graston Technique, sports acupuncture and rehab exercise strategies. Primary areas of focus include sports injuries, tendon injuries, back pain, neck pain, muscle pain, extremity pain, and orthopedic injuries. Dr. Williams is experienced in treating athletes, especially those in the CrossFit, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, and MMA community.
If you’re interested in whether he or another AccessHealth chiropractor can help you, navigate to our contact page or follow this link to request an appointment.