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What is a chiropractor going to do with an elbow?

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What is a chiropractor going to do with an elbow?
Indeed, what is a chiropractor going to do with an elbow, aren’t they just for backs? No, not necessarily as a chiropractor I deal with all musculoskeletal conditions and that folks includes an elbow.

What is a chiropractor going to do with an elbow is the question. A common injury I see in my office is Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis/epicondylosis ( the fancy term for inflammation or injury to the forearm muscles attaching to the back/lateral side of the elbow). Tennis elbow, the most common elbow injury gets its name from the advent of tennis in the 1800’s when participants using a single hand back hand shot would strain the extensor muscles on the back of the forearm.

Rarely today is tennis the cause of tennis elbow likely due to better racquet materials and a two-handed back hand, but the name stuck. Tennis elbow can be caused by an acute injury such as lifting a heavy parcel, using heavy hand tools, when golfing and golf or other activities with a forceful strain on the forearm muscles. The condition can also arise from a repetitive or chronic activity, material handling professionals, operators, or any job or activity where the fingers, wrists and hands are used repetitively.

The patient with tennis elbow will have pain and tenderness just above the elbow and into the back/outside of the forearm ( if you are standing with your arms extended and palms facing forward, this is location of the pain.) The person will have pain with extending their wrist backwards, gripping, lifting or twisting.

The condition occurs when there is excessive force at the attachment point for the forearm muscles at the elbow irritating the bone-muscle intersection causing inflammation and pain. There are often knots, trigger points or tender areas in the forearm muscles where layers of muscle have become” glued” down to each other and can’t slide over one another and thus increasing the stress on the bone-muscle intersection.

The condition tends to be a nagging one because let’s face it you need to use your hands somewhat regularly.

Back to our question, what is a chiropractor going to do with an elbow?
In this case part of our assessment will be to examine the area to determine if indeed the problem is due to the elbow or is the pain coming from another area, the neck for example or shoulder or wrist, all can produce pain in the elbow.

If we assume that yes, it is tennis elbow, treatment will involve manual therapy at the elbow and likely wrist, soft tissue massage to the muscles, ultrasound or other modalities, home exercises when pain-free, icing and the provision of brace.

With this kind of treatment this condition need not be a chronic one.
I hope this answers the question, what is my chiropractor going to do with my elbow?
Tennis elbow is but one of the conditions as a chiropractor I deal with everyday.
For more information on elbows

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