Tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis is a condition in which the outer part of the elbow becomes sore and tender at the lateral epicondyle. The forearm muscles and tendons become damaged from repetitive overuse. This leads to pain and tenderness on the outside of the elbow.

Tennis elbow can occur in anyone who strains the tendons of the forearm and it is not just tennis players.

Here are some potential causes of Tennis Elbow:


It is an overuse injury cused by repetitive, forceful movements at the wrist, which bring the knuckles upwards or when you resist that movement. For example, hitting a back hand shot in racket sports or playing golf.

It can happen from “repetitive” gripping and grasping activities such as:

  • meat cutting
  • plumbing
  • painting
  • auto-mechanic work
  • writing
  • typing on a computer.


Although less common, a direct blow to the elbow may result in swelling of the tendon that can lead to degeneration. This can make the elbow more susceptible to an overuse injury.

Symptoms and Signs?

  • Tenderness on the outside of the elbow
  • Morning stiffness of the elbow with persistent aching
  • Soreness of the forearm muscles
  • Elbow pain is worse when grasping or holding an object
  • Pain and discomfort can continue for as little as 3 weeks or as long as several years, if untreated.

When Should Someone Seek Medical Care?

Tennis elbow does not usually lead to serious problems. If the condition continues and is left untreated, however, loss of motion or loss of function of the elbow and forearm can develop.

Treatment Options offered by Dr. Baker


Active Release Technique is an active therapy, important in that the patient and/or practitioner is actively moving the injured area throughout treatment (the forearm muscles in this case). The goal of the Active Release approach is to quickly and effectively break up scar tissue surrounding the elbow. This in turn helps in improving strength by reducing inflammation, thus increasing flexibility. Tennis Elbow typically responds swiftly and effectively to this therapy.


The Mayo Clinic conducted a study of patients suffering from tennis elbow or tendinitis who were treated with acupuncture. The results were very positive:

  • 18 out of the 22 patients who were treated experienced long-term relief from their pain when treated with acupuncture.

How Do You Prevent Tennis Elbow?

Most tennis elbow injuries occur either at the beginning of a game (as a result of poor warm up techniques) or at the end of a game.

Always warm up and stretch muscles before exercising and cool down.

Another important part of injury prevention should also include a review of your technique and equipment used in sports and office environment.

Success Rate of Acupuncture for Tennis Elbow

Further research involving 22 patients with chronic elbow pain was conducted by th American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and similar results to the Mayo study were found. After four acupuncture treatments the patients had positive outcomes in their pain relief. 19 patients were completely healed of their tennis elbow pain. The remaining 3 patients had massive reductions in their symptoms and could use their elbows normally again.

If you have a neck problem predisposing you to have a tennis elbow, it would make sense to have chiropractic care based on the Chiropractor’s recommendations.

For more information on how chiropractic could help you and your family, please contact us and schedule an appointment at our West Omaha location today!

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