Lateral Epicondylitis, better known as Tennis Elbow, is a common injury in which sufferers experience pain in the elbow and arm. Tennis elbow is common in people who repeatedly perform activities involving forcefully gripping an object between the first two fingers and thumb. Despite the condition’s name and the fact that the elbow is the epicenter of pain, it isn’t elbow movement that contributes to the condition as much as grip strain, which overexerts and injures tendons running through the arm and elbow.
Many sports involving activity similar to tennis, such as racquetball, fencing, and squash, are common causes. Other culprits include:
- Doing yardwork with trimmers, rakes, leaf blowers, etc.
In cases of Tennis Elbow, the extensor carpi radialis brevis, tendons anchoring the forearm muscles to the elbow, become irritated and damaged by overuse. Repetitive motions in which the wrist is flexes while gripping an object causes tears in the tendons, which in turn become inflamed and painful.
The key symptom of tennis elbow is pain in the elbow, which may extend into the forearm (or even hand), or up into the upper arm. This pain is often felt while performing actions such as:
- Making a fist
- Gripping an object
- Lifting objects
- Attempting to straighten your wrist
- Raising your hand over your head
- Opening a door
- Shaking hands
In addition to pain, the area around the elbow tends to become tender and painful to the touch.
Treating Tennis Elbow with Shockwave Therapy
Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) is a non-invasive, FDA-cleared therapy regimen which uses focused acoustic waves to stimulate blood flow and the regeneration of nerves, reduce swelling, and initiate the body’s natural healing processes.
Shockwave therapy has been shown to be effective in treating many forms of tendonitis, including Tennis Elbow. Patients treated with shockwave therapy usually notice a difference even after the first session, and experience a significant decrease in discomfort and pain after a few sessions. As inflammation and swelling of the injured tendons in the elbow subsides, healing can begin.
While it’s unclear why shockwave treatment is effective in treating tennis elbow, what is known is that it does work. Studies have shown very high success rates, including one in which 91% of those evaluated experienced “complete or nearly complete resolution of pain.”
MYOSYTETM’s shockwave therapy allows those suffering from Tennis Elbow to quickly return to the sports and activities they love without pain, and without enduring the unnecessary risk of surgery or use of painkillers.
Other forms of treatment, including laser therapy and magnetic field therapy (PEMFT), have also been shown to be effective in treating Golfer’s Elbow and other forms of tendonitis.