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February 1, 2024

Tennis Elbow: A Chiropractic Case Study

Tennis Elbow: A Chiropractic Case Study

What is Tennis Elbow? 

Tennis elbow, formally known as lateral epicondylitis, is an overuse injury to the forearm and wrist extensor muscles. Symptoms include pain, burning, or an ache along the outside of the forearm and elbow. The pain may get worse and may spread down to the wrist if the person continues the activity that causes the condition. In severe cases, the person’s grip may become weak. This type of injury is common in tennis players, which is how it got its name “tennis elbow”. 

Case Study of Tennis Elbow Patient: 

We recently treated a 50-year-old, female, tennis player for this injury. This patient played tennis recreationally in a few leagues and was an avid player. She started experiencing pain in her elbow but tried to play through it by wearing a brace that pins down the muscle so the tendon isn’t tugging as much. A brace is a temporary fix but needs medical attention to fix the underlying cause. 

Her treatment plan at Team Elite included 6 weeks of weekly chiropractic visits. During her visits, we leveraged several techniques to reduce pain and heal the cause of the tennis elbow. Our treatments included:

  • Laser Therapy - laser therapy was used on the elbow and extensor muscles to calm down inflammation and speed up the healing of tissue. 
  • Instrument-Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization - the scraping tool was used to create a neurological stimulus to help repair the damaged tissue. 
  • Exercises - we did a series of wrist and forearm isometric and eccentric loading exercises by utilizing bands and weights to help strengthen the tendon. Through these exercises, we were able to generate a stimulus in the tissue to inform the body to lay down collagen to repair the tissue. While this may feel counterintuitive, we needed to overload the tissue a bit to help with the repair process. We also did stability exercises to help keep her scapula in a good position. When the scapula is moving properly on the rib cage, we can ensure the elbow isn’t taking the brunt of her serving or backhand swing. 
  • Active Release Technique - we also worked our way up to the cuff muscles and scapula, we worked on loosening tightness in the rotator cuff through the use of Active Release Technique. 


After 4 weeks she was playing tennis pain free and we continued treatment for a few more weeks as maintenance. She stopped using the brace and didn’t need medication to help cope with pain and inflammation

If you are experiencing tennis elbow, book an appointment with the talented Team Elite chiropractors today! 

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