Elbow problems are referred to as Lateral or Medial Epicondylitis or you may know them as Tennis Elbow and Golfers Elbow. These two conditions involve either the outer or inner part of the elbow whereby it becomes painful and tender or sometimes swollen, usually as result of a specific strain, overuse or direct trauma. Sometimes no specific cause is found.

In Tennis elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis) the outer part of the elbow becomes painful. The pain is caused by localised injury and inflammation to the tendons and ligaments attaching to the outer part of the elbow joint. The majority of muscles attaching to the outer part of the elbow control extension of the wrist. Although a common condition amongst tennis players it is also found in other sports and hobbies, those doing repetitive work such as plasterers, mechanics and painters, computer workers and gardeners.

"It may be difficult to do normal activities which involve the wrist and hand"

What does it feel like?
Tennis elbow usually starts with gradual pain on the outer part of the elbow. The pain may go away after a day or so but gradually if you repeat the triggering activity it gets worse and then may become constant and interrupt your sleep. It is painful if someone presses on it or if you knock it. The pain may radiate down along the outer side of the forearm or into the upper arm. It may be difficult to do normal activities which involve the wrist and hand (such as turning a door handle or lifting a cup) because the muscles become weaker. Pain and stiffness may develop in others parts of the affected arm such as the shoulder or neck as the body tries to compensate for the weakness in the elbow.

Golfers Elbow
Golfers elbow (Medial Epicondylitis) is less common than Tennis elbow but just as painful. This involves the tendons and ligaments attaching to the inside of the elbow joint, these muscles control flexion of the wrist.

Both conditions can severely affect normal daily activities such as opening lids on jars, picking up a cup and writing, this is due to the reduced strength of the forearm muscles.

Elbow pain may also be due to referred pain from another source such as the neck or shoulder; this can be determined by a history and physical examination from your chiropractor. Whatever the cause it is important to have the problem diagnosed and treated before it becomes so severe that it affects your daily activities, work and hobbies.

Chiropractic care addresses the specific muscles, tendons and joints involved using several treatment modalities in order to correct the cause of the problem, correct function and reduce symptoms. The chiropractor may also advise you on how to modify your activities and be able to offer you tips for helping it at home.