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TENNIS ELBOW
OR LATERAL EPICONDYLITIS

Lateral epicondylitis is a painful condition at the outer forearm, just where forearm meets the arm. This condition is also known as tennis elbow. Lately due to new evidence this condition has been brought under the umbrella of OOS (Occupational Overuse Syndromes also known as repetitive strain injury (RSI) syndromes.

SYMPTOMS

Tennis elbow pain is most often connected to the activity of the arm or a wrist such as opening a jar or a door. Pain could also be quite intense with burning quality.

ETIOLOGY
(Cause)

Latest studies have revealed a widespread mechanical hypersensitivity in patients suffering with lateral epicondylitis. Studies show that the brains perception of mechanical input such as occurs with normal activities of daily living is heightened. Patients with tennis elbow have significantly higher pain levels to pressure or cold applied over the muscles of the forearm. This evidence supports a role of peripheral sensitization mechanisms in the initiation of this syndrome.

  • In patients younger then 45 years old the cause is repetitive strain (overuse)
  • Sensitization phenomenon (also occurring in younger population)
  • In patients older then 50 years old with presence of degenerative joint disease in the cervical spine (neck arthritis) the cause is secondary to the degenerative disease disrupting neck arm nerve connection.

TYPES OF LATERAL EPICONDYLITIS

There are three types of lateral epicondylitis:

Diagnosis is clinical.
Could be confirmed
by diagnostic ultrasonography.

DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS

Following conditions could mimic tennis elbow:

  • Radial nerve impingement
  • Posterior interosseous nerve impingement
  • Elbow arthritis
  • Fracture of lateral epicondyle (trauma must be present)
  • Cervical radiculopathy

RISK FACTORS

Postural support of the spine, shoulder and neck plays a key role in distribution of forces throughout elbow and forearm. In other words, inadequate support of the neck and shoulder blades on the spine causes further peripheral imbalance into muscles traveling across multiple joints of shoulder, elbow and wrist. Scientific evidence and clinical experience shows us that recovery time of treatment for wrist and elbow syndromes are much abbreviated when stability of shoulder blades is addressed.

Wrist mobility. Wrist and finger mobility is one of the most important factors in formation of stress to the lateral elbow.

Tissue texture quality plays an important role in development of musculoskeletal conditions of upper extremities. Women are usually more affected with painful syndromes of wrist and elbow due to different hormonal profile, which negatively affects tissue tensile quality.

TREATMENT

Deficit in grip strength is a primary physical impairment in patients with tennis elbow. This deficit is predominately due to prior weakness and disruption of coordination to shoulder-elbow -wrist connection. Therefore pain is a result of consequences of this disruption to motor function. Therefore the mainstay of successful treatment of this condition is specific therapeutic exercise. There is significant evidence to support the role of isometric exercise in reducing pain, particularly in a ‘non-compressed’ position. There is also significant evidence (up to 76%) for treatment of chronic lateral elbow pain with Extracorporeal Shock Wave therapy.

TREATMENT AT NYDNRehab

For patients suffering from tennis elbow pain, we provide the most comprehensive approach. We use Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization (DNS), to restore alignment, mobility and stability at the elbow, wrist and shoulder. Our specialists also use many different types of fascial manipulation to improve motion control, allowing the myofascial tissue to lengthen and reduce stress to the muscles and tendons and their insertion to the bone at the lateral epicondyle. We also use acupuncture to eliminate active trigger points in the area of the forearm.

For patients suffering chronic severe pain or who have not responded well to conventional treatments, we may perform extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT). Because shockwave therapy does not require a subcutaneous incision, it is non-invasive regenerative therapy. Low-intensity set of pressure and acoustic waves are used to stimulate metabolism and enhance the blood circulation in the affected area (neovasculogenesis). ESWT is a biological regenerative treatment that accelerates the healing process, gradually regenerating and restoring damaged tissue. Those hoping to treat elbow pain need look no further than the NYDNRehab.

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phone: 1-866-311-5889
e-mail: info@nydnrehab.com
address: 130 West 42 Street, Suite 1055, New York, NY 10036

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