I would like to think I have an effective approach to tennis elbow. It is not my specialist field, but since even my earliest days in physical therapies and as an osteopath, I have treated thousands of cases of this painful and annoying complaint with great success.
What I do is nothing new in treatment terms, but I apply an "all guns blazing" approach to rid the patient of it as quickly as possible, and Im glad to say,it works a treat.
It occurs in the common extensor tendon that emanates from the lateral epicondyle.
For the lay person, it is located at the outer elbow (face your thumb pointing away from your body,and it is felt in the part of your elbow pointing away from your trunk.
Tennis elbow is simply an overuse syndrome and is not caused by playing tennis only(Historically the term "lawn tennis elbow" was coined as a confusing name in the late 19th century).
It can be caused by any repetitive movement or sport.
The tendon quite simply becomes inflamed due to being over used.
There is a similar condition occuring on the opposite side of the elbow named "golfers elbow"which I will tackle in another article.
My approach to treating this condition is the following.
1/ Check the elbow joint for correct alignment,and adjust it with manipulation if appropriate.
2/ Deep tissue massage to the area, adding cross friction to stimulate the tendon and bring fresh blood to the area.
3/ I then use ultrasound at 1mhz, and to be frank ,I turn it up to full power,ensuring I apply plenty of gel,and KEEP THE ULTRASOUND HEAD MOVING, so as not to burn the patient.
If the patient finds the ultrasound head a little hot, I turn it down a touch. I prefer not to linger over the bone surface as there is a theory it may possibly damage the periosteum ( I have never , in 30 years, known this to happen to anyone, but I play safe ). I generally apply ultrasound for around 8 minutes
4/ I then use lasertherapy to calm the area and promote healing. I will sometimes use acupuncture to help pain if the severity warrants it, and the patient is not needle phobic!!!
5/ Finally, I may advise the patient to apply hot and cold packs at home,alternating 5 minutes hot / 5 minutes cold ad infinitum for as long as they possibly can.
I have never employed elbow taping or straps as I have never felt the need to use these.
I find the above a very powerful combination treatment , and have enjoyed great success over many years using this strategy .
Finally in extreme cases, I may also employ arnica injections locally (see my seperate article "Arnica...the new hydrocortisone"
About Dr Les Bailey phd,DO, acopm.apta(int part)
Direct phone number 07801418080
Dr Les Bailey began in physical therapies in 1981,qualifying in remedial massage,and later going on to qualify as an osteopath.
He gained his phd from OIUCM for a thesis on the treatment of plantar fasciitis.
He was awarded a teaching/lecturing diploma from the northern school of osteopaths in 1993.
He also holds a diploma in foot biomechanics .
He works near Banstead in Surrey
Dr Les Bailey works from his clinic near Banstead in surrey.