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The Mechanisms of Tennis or Golfer's Elbow

Altered Anatomy

Some elbows have abnormal elbow anatomy. They can either have the inability to fully straighten the elbow or elbows the straighten beyond 180 degrees (hypermobility). With both of these cases, the forces of the arm during activity don't travel through the elbow bones like they shoulder, and instead will be absorbed into the soft tissues around the elbow. The smallest and weakest of these soft issues of the tendons that attach to the epicondyles. Enter epicondylitis. For the vast majority of these cases, you will not be able to change your anatomy. It's just important that you understand that your elbow carries stresses and forces differently than the average elbow. So you'll have to be extra aware of ways you can limit stress on your elbow. We'll discuss those shortly.

Shoulder/Upper Torso With Limited Flexibility

The most popular contributing factor I see in my chiropractic and sports medicine office with conditions like tennis and golfer's elbow is the limited flexibility of the shoulder or upper torso. With a sport such as golf, tennis, baseball, hockey, or our day to day tasks; if we don't have proper shoulder flexibility because of old injuries, poor posture etc than we will increase the inappropriate excessive movement in the elbow joint. The will not injure the tissue in the short term, but it will in the long term. That's why we use the term 'overuse'. Typically we don't develop tennis or golfer's elbow during one violent, traumatic incident. It develops over time based on the continued 'muscle memory' of your upper body. That's why it's so difficult to get rid of. We need to change your 'muscle memory' of your upper body. So let's look at home we do that:

Kinesiotape for the Popliteus

Kinesiotaping techniques can be helpful for decreasing the healing time of the elbow conditions. Kinesiotape can help to decrease the pressure in the blood vessels that impact the epicondyles allowing for increased blood flow to the area. The more blood flow, the quicker you heal and the better you feel. While this is helpful, it's not a complete treatment. I use it in combination with what follows.

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