In this chronicle, we will be going over different methods of treatment for the inflammation of the extensors located in the forearm, also known as Tennis Elbow, offered by the Clinique Santé Guindon. This injury gets its nickname from the fact that it affects a large amount of tennis players as well as many people who perform repetitive movements with the forearm.
Physiotherapy effectively treats tendinitis very locally, first, by causing transverse friction in the muscular attachment level to break the scar tissue. Next, the physiotherapist makes sure that the upper limb mobility is adequate. In the home exercise program, we teach different forearm stretches as well as forearm massages and we recommend applying ice.
If blockage is found in the upper limb, physiotherapy and the osteopathic approach aims towards removing these blockages that cause shoulder tension whilst improving dorsal, costal and cervical spine mobility. These results are obtained by using manual joint mobilization techniques as well as myofascial techniques for the thorax, the upper limb and the cervical and viscera regions. In certain cases, we use manual techniques and aim towards normalizing the liver given its implication in the metabolism of certain toxins. These toxins naturally hide in the tendons and can, in certain cases, be the source of epicondylite.
Acupuncture, on the other hand, can be used to reduce pain and inflammation in the elbow at the common extensor tendon level as well as reducing tension in those muscles. Furthermore, the colon meridian goes directly onto the lateral aspect of the upper limb, and the colon energy imbalance can be the cause of certain epicondylitis. Since the needles are placed in convenient areas that promote irrigation in said areas, the maximized blood flow accelerates the healing process.
Another approach has been proposed by Dr Shirley Sahrmann. When someone picks up a small object from a table, per example, a utensil, the elbow bends using the forearm extensors instead of the bicep. The forearm extensors attach themselves onto the epicondyle of the humerus and insert themselves into the second and third metacarpus. Since we repeat this same movement many times a day, this overwork leads to tendonitis. We need to teach exercises that help restore neuromuscular pattern in order to reduce stress of the epicondyle muscles.
As you can see, our clinic uses many pathways that treat this problematic. Sadly, some epicondylitis resist our conservative approach and in that case, it is best that they get treated by traditional medicine.