Tahoe Tennis elbow, anyone? | SierraSun.com

Tahoe Tennis elbow, anyone?

Spencer Cruttenden
Special to the Sun

Summer is in full swing, and with this change in season comes a change in activities. Sports such as golf, tennis, and rock climbing all have their own unique challenges, conditioning and injuries. Iand#8217;d like to discuss an injury common to all three: epicondylitis.

Epicondylitis presents as pain around the elbow and comes in two forms: (1) medial, aka golferand#8217;s elbow, which affects the inside of the elbow and the palm side forearm muscles (flexors); and (2) lateral, aka tennis elbow, which affects the outside of the elbow and the back of the hand side forearm muscles (extensors).

The forearm flexors and extensors (they actually move the wrist) each have a common tendon that connect the forearm muscles to the elbow. Repetitive motion and heavy stress on the forearm muscles can lead to small tears in the tendinous attachment at the elbow. These small tears may cause irritation and swelling, leading to the soreness that often defines this condition. Over time this trauma may lead to decreased blood flow, scarring and chronic pain.

The best treatment for this is rest, as rest allows the body to heal at its own pace. Unfortunately, mountain summers are short and extended rest periods are frustrating. To reduce downtime, visit a health care professional such as a chiropractor to accelerate the natural healing process. There are many therapies available to decrease pain, accelerate healing and restore function to prevent future occurrences.

Even if you donand#8217;t have any issues now, preventative measures are important to avoid future injury. For example, a proper warm up, slow progression and post exercise stretching are crucial. Another important aspect is variety. Running, hiking, swimming, etc. are all great ways to get outside but give those forearms a rest. Health care providers can help you correct imbalances that could lead to injury, and more importantly, give you the information necessary to take care of your body. With an educated perspective on your own health and professional treatment of the injuries that inevitably occur, you can ensure a long and successful involvement in your favorite activities.

Call me at 550-8333 and take the first step toward a healthy, happy, pain-free summer.

and#8212; Submitted via aedgett@sierrasun.com