A Cure for Tennis Elbow?

tennis_elbow

Tennis elbow is a condition where the outer part of the elbow becomes sore and tender. It is commonly associated with playing tennis and other racquet sports, though the injury is not unique to racquet sports.

The condition is more formally known as lateral epicondylitis (“inflammation to the outside elbow bone”) , lateral epicondylosis, or simply lateral elbow pain.

And with the pain comes weakness and decreased function of the affected arm. When it’s bad, you can forget about holding a suitcase or playing tennis or even shaking hands.

In a nutshell, it’s a real pain in the….lateral epicondyle.

Current treatments include:

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): ibuprofen, naproxen or aspirin
  • Heat or ice
  • A counter-force brace or “tennis elbow strap” to reduce strain at the elbow epicondyle, to limit pain provocation and to protect against further damage.
  • Rest
  • Acupuncture
  • Blood injection (possibly augmented by plateletpheresis)
  • Botulinum toxin
  • Extra-corporeal shock wave therapy (lithotriptor)
  • Heat therapy
  • Immobilization of the forearm and elbow using a splint for two to three weeks
  • Local injection of cortisone and a numbing medicine
  • Low level laser therapy
  • Occupational therapy, primarily for stretching and strengthening of the wrist extensor musculature.
  • Physical therapy
  • Platelet-rich plasma[9]
  • Pulsed ultrasound to break up scar tissue, promote healing, and increase blood flow in the area
  • Sclerotherapy
  • Trigger point therapy
  • Electrical stimulation combined with acupuncture
  • Soft-tissue physical therapy
  • Massage
  • Cortisone injections
  • And a variety of resistance exercises and stretches

And sadly, up until this point, there has been little evidence to support the value of any of these interventions for prevention, treatment, or avoidance of recurrence of lateral epicondylosis.

That is, up until researchers (Timothy Tyler, Stephen Nicholas, Gregory Thomas & Malachy McHugh) from the Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma/Pro Sports Physical Therapy created a brand spanking new wrist extensor exercise that they hoped would provide an effective and inexpensive treatment for chronic lateral epicondylitis.

The new exercise is a low cost/high creativity variation on a $50,000 isokinetic exercise machine found in high end physical therapy clinics.

And to test their new isolated eccentric wrist-extensor strengthening exercise, they designed this study.

  • They separated 21 patients with tennis elbow, into two groups.
  • Both groups  received wrist-extensor muscle stretching, ultrasound, massage, heat and ice for treatment.
  • Group 1 performed the isolated eccentric wrist-extensor strengthening exercise using a rubber FlexBar from Thera-Band.
  • Group 2 did standard isotonic strengthening exercises.

The FlexBar group had significantly better results.

  • 76% improvement compared to 12% improvement.

In fact, given the disparity in results, the researchers terminated the randomization of the study and put everyone onto their new isolated eccentric strength training exercise.

So, for all of those people out there suffering from tennis elbow, here’s what you need to do:

tennis elbow eccentric twist exercise - the tyler twist

But first, we need to come up with a new name.

Isolated eccentric strength training exercise for the treatment of Tennis Elbow isn’t going to work. We need something snappy.

How about The Tyler Twist™?

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9 comments

  1. There is also a herb called Cissus Quadrangularis which has a lot of anecdotal evidence behind it. I have used it before when I have had joint issues (JuJitsu lock goes a little too tight too fast and bangs up my joints, pulled muscles, bone bruises, etc) and I have had good luck with it. Its supposed to reduce cortisol and also It sometimes still takes a while to fully heal but generally speaking it helps with any pain during the healing (its also a mild analgesic). I would trust this over OTC NSAIDs as its been used for centuries in India, their main use has been to help heal bone fractures but it seems to help bones, tendons, ligaments, and even possibly muscles to heal.

    -Matt

  2. i have very serious problem in my tennis elbow because i am doing daily 1000 dips last 10 years and also chest exercise so i think my elbow have cracked so send me some effective tips please i will be very thankful to you

  3. Waseem,

    If possible, get your elbow checked out by a sports medicine doc / orthopedist. Knowing exactly what’s wrong will make all the difference when it comes to treatment.

    If that’s not possible, we should look at the most likely and least serious issue first

    inflammation from all of those dips – ice, rest, massage, acupuncture until the problem starts to go away.
    Followed by specific strength training ie. the exercise shown in this article. If you don’t have access to this piece of equipment, you can try and make your own. I am not making this up. I just talked to a guy who made his own by cutting up an old truck tire. I don’t know how it’s going to work, but…

    After inflammation we would be looking for structural damage – torn tendons, ligaments, bone chips, etc… For this we are going to need a doc

    Let’s hope it’s just inflammation

  4. I have been suffering Tennis elbow for two months.
    I have all the sympthoms I have read in several websites. My arm has not been active, only mouse/desktop movements, but generally I stopped all Tennis activity.
    Question are:
    1-I am just starting now to apply ultrasound, ice and massages. Is it possible that in two months I developed scar tissue that will not allow a proper healing?
    2-Can I do healing exercises as shown in your website now or they must start upon you are not felling any pain in your arm?

    Thanks and looking forward for your reply.

  5. Scar tissue could have been building up for months/years.

    A proper exam by a good physical therapist (physio, ART,etc..) should give you an idea of scar tissue. If there is scar tissue, the physio will probably need to break down the scar tissue in order to rebuild with healthy tissue. Painful, but you do want to get rid of it.

    In the study, the trainees were still in the healing phase. So go ahead. However, if you are getting physio from a pro, let them know what you are doing so they can monitor the progress.

    I have a client trying out this thereapy. Just started this week, so no results yet

  6. I use Myokinesthetic pain relief treatments in my therapeutic massage practice. This past week I had a patient whose tennis elbow symptoms were relieved in just two treatments.
    Myokinesthetic (Myokin) treatments are 10 to 20 minutes in length, are done with the patient fully clothed, and use no oils nor cremes. Myokin manipulates muscles to re-ducate specific nerve pathways to effect a Central Nervous System response that relieves pain.
    I am in full agreement that the advice of medical practitioners is important. Myokin doesn’t fix fractures nor torn ligaments, but it is very effective in the relief of pain or numbness for a wide variety of conditions.
    I encourage the use of Myokin before Cortisone.

  7. I have a question. Whenever I do tricep exercises my elbow pops. Does that mean that I have tennis elbow?

    Thank you in advance for your reply.

  8. ibuprofen is definitely the best OTC painkiller for me. It helps me a lot to deal with my muscular pain.’*`

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