Tennis elbow is a physical condition that can greatly affect your range of motion as well as cause pain and discomfort. The condition isn't just limited to tennis players either -- it's basically caused by overstretching your forearm, which means it can be caused by almost any kind of physical activity or even movement. Fortunately, you can get physical therapy for tennis elbow to help reduce the pain and get your original range of motion back.
Tennis elbow occurs when you damage one of the tendons in your forearm located near the outside of your elbow. These are the tendons that connect the muscles to your wrist and fingers, allowing them to extend. Tendons consist of collagen fibers, which are crosslinked with chemical bridges that allow them to stretch as well as return to normal length. The overstretching of the tissue can cause minor or major tears to the crosslinks binding the fibers together or to the fibers themselves.
What you may not know is that small tears occur all the time with normal physical activity. Usually, the blood flow is automatically increased to the injury, where torn fibers are replaced with new collagen. When such tears occur in muscle fibers, which can happen during activities such as lifting weights, the muscle will just heal with thicker fibers, which is actually how you build muscle.
Tennis elbow occurs when this healing process doesn't occur. Instead of being repaired by the body, torn tissue simply degrades. If it continues to degrade, it could result in cell death and permanent collagen fiber degeneration.
People with tennis elbow used to be treated with cortisone injections; however, this can make it worse even though it will relieve the pain. This is because cortisone will inhibit your cell metabolism, thereby blocking the healing response further. The most effective way to treat tennis elbow is either through surgery, chemical stimulation or physical therapy. Massage therapy can help stimulate the repair of the damaged tissue.
If you are suffering from tennis elbow, you should address the problem as soon as possible or it could become chronic. Getting physical therapy for tennis elbow could help promote the natural repair process, thereby preventing the death of the tendon tissue. For more information about how physical therapy can help treat tennis elbow, be sure to contact us at Advanced Motion Therapeutic today.