It affects as much as 3% of the US population each year. It’s a nagging, uncomfortable condition that can make even the simplest tasks painful.
What is it? It’s called tennis elbow, but you don’t have to be a tennis player to get it! In fact, a lot of people who struggle with this common condition have never picked up a racquet.
What causes tennis elbow pain? What are the most common treatments? Can massage therapy help?
Keep reading as we discuss the answers below!
What Is Tennis Elbow Anyway?
The clinical term for tennis elbow is lateral epicondylitis (which is probably why most people just call it tennis elbow). The condition occurs when the tendons that attach to the lateral epicondyle (that’s the bony bump on the outer part of your elbow) become inflamed due to sprain or overuse.
Despite its name, tennis elbow is not exclusive to tennis players. It can affect anyone involved in activities that require repetitive gripping and wrist extension, such as painting, plumbing, or playing musical instruments.
The most common symptoms include pain and tenderness on the outer elbow. You may also experience muscular pain, forearm weakness, and difficulty gripping or lifting objects. Poor technique, improper equipment, or inadequate warm-up routines can also aggravate tennis elbow pain.
Does Massage Help Tennis Elbow?
Your doctor will likely recommend ice, stretching, and rest to help alleviate your tennis elbow pain. These are definitely important, but there’s another all-natural remedy to add to your to-do list — massage therapy!
While it may not provide a “cure,” regular massage sessions can contribute to pain relief, improved flexibility, and enhanced circulation.
For starters, massage promotes blood and lymph circulation, which aids in delivering essential nutrients and oxygen to the affected area. This increased flow helps to reduce inflammation and promote the body’s natural healing processes.
Tension in the muscles and tendons surrounding the elbow can exacerbate tennis elbow pain. Massage therapy helps to relax these soft tissues, reducing tightness and relieving stress on the affected area.
In chronic cases, tennis elbow can lead to the formation of scar tissue. Certain massage techniques, such as cross-fiber friction and deep tissue massage, can help break down this scar tissue. This enhances the elasticity of the tendons and reduces stiffness.
Speaking of stiffness, tennis elbow often restricts the range of motion in the forearm and elbow. Targeted massage can help improve flexibility, allowing for a broader range of pain-free movement.
Say Goodbye to Elbow Pain Today
As we’ve discussed, massage therapy can play an integral role in your battle against tennis elbow pain.
Of course, you should always consult with your doctor for a comprehensive treatment plan. More than likely, your doctor will agree that incorporating massage into a broader treatment strategy can contribute to reduced pain and a quicker recovery.
Our team of experienced therapists at Simply Massage is ready to help with your tennis elbow pain — or any other aches and pains you’re struggling with! Call us today at 970-748-1600 to schedule your next session.