Sport & Spine Rehab – Elbow – Elbow Epicondylitis/Epicondylosis
Elbow Epicondylitis/Epicondylosis (Tennis Elbow/Golfer’s Elbow)
Lateral/Medial Epicondylitis/Epicondylosis describes acute and chronic inflammation of the muscles of the forearm that attach at the elbow. Initially, the inflammation occurs both at the periosteum (connective tissue covering of the bone) as well as the tendons that insert on the bone (namely the wrist extensor tendons for lateral epicondylitis or wrist flexor muscles for medial epicondylitis). Tennis Elbow and Golfer’s Elbow are common names for these conditions. Tennis Elbow refers to pain on the outside (lateral side) of the elbow while Golfer’s Elbow refers to pain on the inside (medial side) of the elbow. Interestingly enough, Tennis Elbow is more common in golfers and Golfer’s Elbow is more common in tennis players!
Many times, the biomechanical problem is in the shoulder and/or wrist. Basically, having weak shoulder muscles can put the elbow muscles under more stress and cause them to experience pain. Most commonly, patients that are experiencing either of these conditions, have had it for a long time just sitting below the surface and possibly not even causing any pain. We know this because research studies have shown us that the tendon is rarely inflamed like we think of inflammation (warm and extremely painful to the touch, red, and swollen). Normally, the tendon is degenerated.
This difference is immense as degenerative tendons need completely different treatment than inflamed tendons. They need to be strengthened through a process called low-load eccentrics. Tim Tyler, a physical therapist from New York, conducted a study that showed the addition of an exercise known as the Tyler Twist, which uses a TheraBand Flex-Bar, to the in-clinic treatment of stretching and hands-on manual therapy, helps people much more than any other treatment. This is why so many people don’t experience lasting relief with medications or injections or even braces.
The doctors and staff of Sport and Spine Rehab are specially trained in the Tyler Twist and the use of manual therapy to treat these conditions.