How Chiropractic Care Can Help Your Tennis Elbow

August 30, 2022

What is Tennis Elbow? (Lateral Epicondylitis)

How Chiropractic Care Can Help Your Tennis Elbow

Lateral Epicondylitis, otherwise known as Tennis Elbow, is a common condition that affects the tendons (extensor carpi radialis brevis) that insert onto the outside of your elbow.

Patients that visit Tangelo with this affliction generally describe tenderness to the touch, achiness and pain performing simple movements like gripping or shaking hands, and even burning on the outside of the elbow.



What Causes Tennis Elbow?

As the name suggests, tennis elbow is most common with racket sports due to potential poor mechanics or overuse.


Some other contributing factors may include:

  • Gripping your racket too tight
  • Lack of strength in your forearms
  • Too much too soon or not enough rest
  • Poor shoulder and/or thoracic spine mobility
  • Weak core
  • Ego. Trying to hit the ball too hard


Site of Pain Vs. the Source of Pain

When we have a patient come to Tangelo with knee pain. We not only take the time to look at the knee, but we also take into account the relationship between the knee, hips, and foot.

The same thing goes for the elbow. Even though the site of the pain is along the outside of your elbow, the source of the pain may very well be located in or around the shoulder.

Let me explain. When playing tennis, you are taking your shoulder through all kinds of ranges of motion during every serve and return. In just a matter of a few seconds, you could be taking your racket overhead, across your body, and if you are Andre Agassi or Rafael Nadal, even between your legs (you know which move I am talking about).

However, if your shoulder joint does not have sufficient mobility and stability to accommodate those demands, you are going to need to make up for it elsewhere in the kinetic chain. This could mean asking more of your elbow than it’s prepared to deliver; leading to overuse and pain that seemed to come out of nowhere.

This is what makes Tangelo so special. We don’t see you as just an elbow, knee, or shoulder. We see you as a person. A person with a story, goals, and a body that is interdependent. We must treat the whole you and not just focus on the site of the pain. 


How Chiropractic Care Can Help Tennis Elbow

In addition to looking at the function of your shoulder and thoracic spine, we also address the cervical spine.


Well, it’s because all nerve roots stem from the spine, and the nerves that stem from the part of the cervical spine run down the arm and into the hand. When a nerve root is irritated, it can lead to radiculopathy, which is nerve pain that travels down through the extremity.

Therefore, through a comprehensive examination, we will be able to accurately determine if your lateral epicondylitis is coming from your elbow, shoulder, wrist or even your cervical spine. Once thoroughly assessed, we will be able to treat and back you back to life free of limitations FAST.


6 Exercises to help prevent tennis elbow

Looking to prevent Tennis Elbow?

Here are 6 great exercises that should be incorporated into your training:

  1. Wrist Extensor Rolling: up to 2 minutes (every day if tolerable)
  2. Wrist Extensions: 3 sets x 10-15 reps (3 times per week)
  3. Hammer Pronation and Supination: 3 sets x 10-15 reps (3 times per week)
  4. Banded Pass Throughs: 10-20 reps (every day)
  5. Bench Dowel Extensions: 3 sets x 5 breathes (5 times per week)
  6. Wall Angels: 3 sets x 5-10 reps (3 times per week)


Think you have tennis elbow?

Thank you for taking this time to read this blog. If you are currently experiencing Tennis Elbow, the best thing you can do is get it assessed and treated right away. The longer you wait, the longer it will take to recover and the more time and miles you would’ve lost. We have 3 Seattle chiropractic locations and 1 Portland chiropractic location to serve you.


Give us a call or submit and Make an Appointment today!