4 Easy Steps To Fix Tennis Elbow!

Lateral elbow pain is more popularly termed “tennis elbow.” Tennis Elbow affects 2% of the general population, and while that sounds like a relatively low number, it will affect upwards of 50% of tennis players at some point during their playing career! Hence the name.

The commonality among tennis players is no mistake. The sport places a tremendous load on the lateral elbow. While it’s incredibly common, resolution of the problem is often frustrating for both patient and provider. The problem with fixing tennis elbow is that the condition is commonly misdiagnosed. Incorrect diagnosis leads to incorrect treatment, and as you may already know, prolonged and worsening symptoms.

Fortunately, fixing this issue can be found with 4 easy steps!

STEP 1: GET THE RIGHT DIAGNOSIS! Tennis elbow is generally categorized as a tendinitis. Classic tendinitis is an inflammatory condition. The problem is that most lateral elbow pain is NOT inflammatory! It’s degenerative! It is actually a term called tendinosis. Treating lateral elbow pain as tendinitis will make tendinosis worse!

Classic treatment of tendinitis, using rest, ice, and NSAIDS or cortisone actually leads to more degeneration and is putting you at risk for more significant injury, like ruptured tendons! It bears repeating, but cortisone and NSAIDS are a REALLY bad idea in this situation!  In fact one more recent study showed that those using cortisone for treatment of musculoskeletal conditions were WORSE than those who did absolutely nothing at all after 1 year.  Don’t believe me?  Take a look at the study here.

STEP 2: REST! I know I just told you rest is a bad idea. Prolonged rest is bad. Short term rest isn’t. It is often necessary during step 3.  Also avoid any painful movements during this time and use a brace as needed.  All this helps to unload the injured area.

STEP 3: TREAT ADHESION. Lateral elbow pain is often caused by overuse/repetitive trauma. The most common result of overuse in the body is adhesion. Adhesion acts like glue on muscles and tendons and doesn’t allow things to move like they should. It’s the most common cause of pain and limited range of motion in the body, yet it is also the most misdiagnosed and mistreated condition! Very few providers know what adhesion is. Even less know how to actually treat it. Making sure to find a provider that knows how to diagnose and treat this condition is vital to your recovery!  If you are lucky enough to have an Integrative Diagnosis provider in your area, they are the absolute best at treating this condition.  You can check your area by clicking the link here.

STEP 4: ECCENTRIC EXERCISE. Once adhesion is removed and the tissue is healthy enough for more activity. Eccentric exercise, a very specific type of exercise needs to be started. This type of exercise specifically targets the tendon for repair.

 

If you have been struggling to find relief from lateral elbow and been diagnosed with tendinitis, most likely the diagnosis was wrong! You need a second opinion! You need the help of a soft tissue expert!  Find help, follow these steps, get relief now!

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The providers at Thrive Spine and Sport in Cedar Rapids are certified through Integrative Diagnosis. Integrative Diagnosis is the most advanced diagnosis and treatment system for the diagnosis and treatment of soft tissue injury. If you have tried other providers without finding relief, we invite you to call our office today at 319-423-0925 or request an appointment by clicking here => www.thrivespineandsport.com/appointment-request.

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5 Of The Most Useless Rehab Methods

Let’s face it.  Being injured sucks.  It’s no fun, and most of the time it stops you from doing the activities you love to do.  Some try to fix themselves, while others seek the help of experts to get them out of pain.  Far too many are left in pain with no answers on what’s wrong and how to fix them.

Unfortunately, there is a ton of misinformation in health care.  Fads in healthcare peak fast and shortly fall off the cliff when everyone realizes it doesn’t work.  Even worse, long standard rehab methods that are still being used, despite a wealth of information proving them insufficient!

Here are 5 of the most widely used and abused ineffective treatment methods, and what you should be doing instead.

5.  ICE

Despite what you hear, inflammation produced after an injury is a good thing.  We are far too concerned about reducing inflammation, when in reality we should be appreciating the fact the body is trying to heal itself and just let it happen!  Even Gabe Mirkin, the man who created the acronym RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation), warns about the use of ice!

Ice does help for pain, but it will also reduce blood flow.  Blood flow is necessary for healing as it brings in nutrients and materials for repairing the injured area.  Inflammation increases blood flow to stimulate repair.  Trust me your body will do a fantastic job to make sure the inflammation doesn’t get out of hand.

Fix:  Stop icing and let the injury heal!  If you are in unbearable pain, then using ice will be fine.  Just make sure to use it until the area goes numb, then remove it.

4.  REST

This ties into the first useless rehab method, but rest rarely helps.  Of course, if you hurt yourself bench pressing, you shouldn’t go right back to benching, but those who get injured most often stop activity all together.  When muscles do nothing for extended periods of time, they get weaker, and create more pain when returning to activity.

Fix:  Keep active. Continue to use the injured area in pain free, ranges of motion.  Depending on the severity of the injury use lighter weights.  Training other non-injured muscles have also shown to increase the recovery process.

3.  NSAIDS/CORTISONE

Cortisone is the most misused and abused treatment, behind only NSAIDS.  Again, this ties back to the first section on ice.  Inflammation isn’t a bad thing.  It’s a sign that something is wrong!  You need to figure out what that is.

Most often inflammation is produced from overuse – either the body is doing more than what it can handle or your movement is limited.  Limited motion is the most common cause of pain and inflammation in the body.

Cortisone was heralded as a miracle drug back in the 40’s.  Now we know its crap! If you’re lucky cortisone relieves pain in the short term.  In the long term, it degenerates muscles and tendons and leaves you more prone for injury.  Long term studies actually show that those who have used cortisone injections for treatment are WORSE off after a year than those who actually did NOTHING for pain.

Fix:  Stop using pain meds and cortisone injections, unless you are in unbearable pain.  Seek the help of a musculoskeletal expert to find out what is wrong and what needs to be done to fix you!

2.  KT TAPE

KT TAPE

Watching just about any sporting event on TV you will find at least one athlete wearing some brightly colored tape on some part of their body.  The sad thing is, is if you actually look at some of the research on these tape company’s websites, you will find that they actually link studies that prove their product doesn’t work!  Unbelievable!

If you remember in 2008, Olympian sprinter Manteo Mitchell broke his leg while running his leg of the 4 x 400 meter relay.  Why is that significant?  The leg he broke was the one wearing kinesiotape!

Now I get if you are running in the Olympics and are injured, by all means do what you need to do to compete.  Chances are you are not running in the Olympics anytime soon.  What kinesiotape does is override your body to feel pain.  This is why it has become so popular, but it does nothing to actually fix anything that’s physically wrong!

Fix:  Save yourself some money and stop buying tape.  If a provider you have been seeing is using the tape as treatment – you need to find a better provider!  Find someone that can figure out what is wrong with you and what you need to do to get out of pain

1.  STATIC STRETCHING

If you really think about it, static stretching is one of the most barbaric things you can do to yourself.  Take something that doesn’t want to move into that position, and hold it there for an extended period of time trying to force it even further into another position.

Study after study now shows that stretching is potentially harmful.  It will loosen up muscles in the short term, and even reduce some pain, but also decreases force production and moves your body into positions it doesn’t want to be in, opening it up for more potential injury.

Your body is very smart.  It will move as far as it needs to when healthy.  If you are tight or not flexible there is a reason why. Adhesion is the most common cause of limited mobility and pain in the body.  Unfortunately, it is also the most misdiagnosed and mistreated conditions, as well.  Fortunately, it is easily reversible by someone who knows how to identify and fix it!

Fix:  If you constantly find you are weak and tight, find an Integrative Diagnosis provider.  They are certified to find and fix adhesion.  This gets you back to moving properly and out of pain faster than anything else out there.  To find a provider, click here.

After fixing adhesion, dynamic stretching, moving while stretching, will keep your body moving properly and stay healthier longer!

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If you live in the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City area and find yourself using one or more of these methods to get out of pain, you deserve better answers and solutions to your problem!  We are the only full body certified Integrative Diagnosis providers in the state!  Call us today at 319-423-0925 or fill out an appointment request on this page.

Thanks for reading!