Elbow pain is a common complaint in our Pottsville office.
What Causes Tennis Elbow
Tennis elbow is also know as lateral epicondylitis. Tennis elbow is a pain that occurs on the lateral or outside of the elbow joint. There are two forms or it; acute and chronic. You will usually know what the cause was of acute of sudden onset elbow pain. There is an action the you did previously to bring on the inflammation and pain. This acute elbow pain will typically resolve with home treatment in a few days. Chronic elbow pain is a totally different problem but the pain is the same and the same tendon is involved. It may have started as an acute tennis elbow that did not resolve or you may not know the cause for the pain.
Chronic Tennis Elbow
Chronic tennis elbow is a tendonosis whereas acute tennis elbow is a tendonitis. There is inflammation with a tendonitis and none with a tendonosis. An anti-inflammatory does not help a tendonosis. Nor does a cortisone injection. It fact, a cortisone injection may make it worse in the long tern because it “thins out” the tendon making it weaker. For a tendonosis, exercising the fast twitch muscles. or a negative exercise is helpful. Think of a positive exercise as jumping up. Think of a negative exercise as jumping off a low stool and “catching yourself” as you hit the ground. You use your muscles as a “brake” so you don’t continue to fall to the floor.
Bowler’s and Golfer’s Elbow
Not all elbow pain is tennis elbow. Bowler’s and Golfer’s elbow also can appear in the two forms. Bowler’s or golfer’s elbow is different because it occurs at the medical aspect of the elbow (the little finger side).
Treatment For Tennis Elbow, Bowler’s Elbow, and Golfer’s Elbow
All of these are the chronic form if you have them more that a week or a few weeks if you continue to aggravate the tendon. When these problems are chronic they require specific exercises to help relive the pain and restore normal muscle tendon function.
You can click HERE to see how a tennis elbow “lights up” with a PET scan. We don’t know the cause of tennis elbow but we know it is not an inflammation.