Let’s explain what tennis elbow really is. It is an overuse syndrome where a body part is used beyond its physiological boundaries where it can fail to serve its’ intended purpose. So if a muscle’s job was to bend the wrist backward and move it to the outside when called upon to do so it may not be done as smoothly as you would like. when a muscle behaves in the less than ideal way it becomes what is known as dysfunctional. The dysfunctional muscle spreads its’ inherent dysfunctionality to surrounding muscles it works in conjunction with. The problem starts to affect a more widespread area if left untreated.
The muscle called Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis is the primary muscle involved in tennis elbow Tennis Elbow. You may be surprised to learn that carpenters, plumbers, and painters also get a fairly high rate of tennis elbow. Even more interesting is that tradesmen usually do not play tennis. What they have in common with tennis players id that they use their wrist to bend backward and out to the side. This is the distinct action of the Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis. The muscle will extend the wrist and abduct the wrist at the same time. This is quite a unique motion. when we overdo that particular motion the muscle becomes dysfunctional as previously stated.
What goes wrong in the muscle. The muscle has only so much tensile strength. If you go past its’ normal limits it begins to weaken because its’ strength is diminished. You are asking a muscle to do more than it physically can. The muscle will respond to the extra demands but will not work efficiently. Pain is your body’s way of saying that something is wrong. Your body will let you know that your elbow is not going to work properly when asked to do more then it can.
How would you like to deal with the problem? You can tell the brain there is no problem on the physical level by medicating the situation. The brain stops receiving input so while you feel the problem is gone it may be getting worse. So before you start popping those Aleve and Advil pills think is it going to fix your problem or cover it up? You may be lulled into thinking that the absence of pain means there is no problem. You are merely shutting off the communication between the damaged body part and your brain. The muscle only has so much to give before it fails.
I would urge you to consider some alternatives to the self-medicating route. Joint mobilization will allow for reduced stress on the elbow. What is joint mobilization? It is a chiropractic treatment that restores function to the elbow in this case by reducing the subluxation. A subluxation is where normal biomechanical integrity is lost by displacement of that body part. If the elbow has undue stress put onto it the three bones of the arm the humerus, radius, and ulna will subluxate. There will be a distortion of the joint’s normal properties. The Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis crosses the elbow to do its job of extending and abducting the wrist. So it would make sense that when the elbow subluxated it will put stress onto the muscles that are near it.
Chiropractors who specialize in extremity adjustments treat subluxations of the elbow by palpating the area. Once it has been determined where the subluxation exists further analysis calls for determining directional displacement to find out what our line of the drive should be to correct the faulty biomechanics. Once structural integrity is restored the tissue will respond favorably to soft tissue treatment. By using both joint mobilization and soft tissue treatments we can bring about the full restoration of the joint.
Many will elect to do one or the other electing either doing mobilization or soft tissue treatment. Why would you do half the work to make it successful? Find the problem then fix it. But be done with it. I hope you can appreciate this common-sense approach. You will do your tennis elbow a world of good. Imagine playing tennis without pain or turning a wrench under somebody’s sink without pain. I trust that you have found this helpful. Feel free to pass this on or leave a comment below.