Healing Tennis Elbow Through The Use of Trigger Point Therapy

Healing Tennis Elbow Through The Use of Trigger Point Therapy Blog  Trigger Point Tennis elbow

Tennis elbow is a condition that got its name due to straining of the muscle during a tennis game. It is often called golf elbow too. However, it can happen to anyone whether they play tennis, golf or nothing. This strain affects the Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis tendon. Make no mistake; tennis elbow can be a debilitating problem. Most often, people complain of pain when shaking hands, opening bottles, or anytime they need to grip onto something. Not every elbow pain is associated with tennis elbow, but it is a very real condition that needs medical attention. There are techniques that can be utilized that do not require surgical intervention.

Tennis elbow treatment by Trigger Point Therapy

To treat this condition effectively, the use of trigger points is utilized. What is a trigger point? Trigger points go along with Eastern Medicinal practices, or holistic approaches. Many doctors are quick to write their patients prescriptions for steroids and anti-inflammatory drugs to treat this problem. In all actuality, the problem can be fixed by massaging with a firm pressure on these trigger points.

Trigger points are areas of the body that are sensitive, specifically around tendons and muscles. During massage therapy, these areas are stimulated or irritated. This causes an effect in another party of the body due to their connection. This is especially seen in the tendon areas where muscles are causing musculoskeletal pain. Each trigger point within the body is connected to another area. Some call them knots or bands that are in the muscles. The body has over 400 muscles. These knots will not be present in a healthy muscle without issues. They are only present in muscles that have strain. By massaging these knots or trigger points, it brings relief by breaking up the strain.

Healing Tennis Elbow Through The Use of Trigger Point Therapy Blog  Trigger Point Tennis elbow

Why Trigger Point Therapy Works

During therapy, the therapist presses down on the trigger point in the area that is causing pain to their patient. By doing this when the patient is at their worst in their pain cycle; however, by working out the knot, it can eliminate their symptoms. In many cases, patients say that it has reduced their symptoms to the point where they can be active again. Some say this is a rather controversial way to treat pain that does not use traditional practices of Western Medicine. However, many are finding relief and help through the gentle manipulation of their trigger points. It is one of the best forms of relief known for severe pain in the elbow.

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In this instance, an athlete was originally diagnosed with minor quadriceps muscle strain and was treated for four weeks, with unsatisfactory results. When he came to our clinic, the muscle was not healing, and the patients’ muscle tissue had already begun to atrophy.

Upon examination using MSUS, we discovered that he had a full muscle thickness tear that had been overlooked by his previous provider. To mitigate damage and promote healing, surgery should have been performed immediately after the injury occurred. Because of misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment, the patient now has permanent damage that cannot be corrected.

The most important advantage of Ultrasound over MRI imaging is its ability to zero in on the symptomatic region and obtain imaging, with active participation and feedback from the patient. Using dynamic MSUS, we can see what happens when patients contract their muscles, something that cannot be done with MRI. From a diagnostic perspective, this interaction is invaluable.

Dynamic ultrasonography examination demonstrating
the full thickness tear and already occurring muscle atrophy
due to misdiagnosis and not referring the patient
to proper diagnostic workup

Demonstration of how very small muscle defect is made and revealed
to be a complete tear with muscle contraction
under diagnostic sonography (not possible with MRI)

image

Complete tear of rectus femoris
with large hematoma (blood)

image

Separation of muscle ends due to tear elicited
on dynamic sonography examination

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