The answer, fortunately, is YES! Because chiropractic care can help heal, strengthen, and repair every joint and muscle in the body! Most people are shocked to learn that adjustments to the elbow, shoulder, other joints and spine, done by a trained chiropractor, can have a positive impact on every system and every part of the body. One vertebrae out of place can cause anything from numbness and weakness to other conditions such as heartburn or breathing issues. One of the common non-spinal related issues many chiropractors hear about from their patients is of a “painful, weak, or numb elbow”- most commonly diagnosed as “tennis elbow.”
Could I Have Tennis Elbow?
The easiest way to see if you need to talk to your chiropractor about whether or not you have tennis elbow is to see if any of these conditions / situations apply to you:
You deal with regular or constant elbow and forearm pain.
In severe cases numbness or shooting pain can radiate to the hand and neck.
Lack of strength when gripping, carrying, or lifting normal everyday items that gave no trouble before.
In some cases just trying to straighten the arm can be difficult or painful.
During physical activities, impact to the hand or arm causes painful shock waves through the arm.
Suddenly dropping things you were carrying- books, papers, keys, cell phones.
Waking up with numbness in the arms
The numbness or pain started after an injury or some sort of trauma to the elbow such as a fall or accident
What Causes Tennis Elbow?
The condition of tennis elbow is medically and therapeutically classified as a Repetitive Stress/Strain Injury (RSI). It is caused by repetitive, forceful movements associated with the elbow, arm, and wrist- such as what is seen in tennis and golf (the two main demographics that suffer from this condition). Other activities can cause a temporary flare up of tennis elbow that would normally subside on its own but that could benefit from chiropractic treatments to speed healing and ensure further damage is not done. Any type of repetitive activity can cause a flare up- all day weeding, long sessions of painting, spending the day baking or cleaning, and so on. Tennis elbow is the result of the muscles and tendons of the arm near the elbow being strained and slightly torn due to over use and exertion. The muscles and tendons get inflamed and become swollen and painful, thus reducing range of motion, mobility, and strength. It is this swelling that can cut off nerves and blood flow leading to numbness and weakness.
How Do I Fix It?
The pain and general numbness that comes from normal cases of tennis elbow can typically last anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks on its own, but the condition can also last for years and get worse instead of better if the problem is not corrected and further damage is done. Most professionals recommend what is commonly known as the RICE protocol to follow at home between scheduled chiropractic care sessions:
Rest: Take a sabbatical from the activity that caused the condition as much as possible.
Ice: Use ice packs for 10 minutes every hour for 3-5 hours each day to help soothe pain.
Compression: Use support to help the injured area, especially if your job requires continued use.
Elevation: Keeping the arm elevated will help reduce swelling and will help ease pain.
With the combination of home care and routine chiropractic visits while healing, you can find the relief you need from you tennis elbow flare up. Ask Dr. Hamilton what you can do to relieve your tennis elbow symptoms and get back to full health. Call our office today!