Elbow Tendonitis: Commonly Misunderstood Treatment for Tennis/Golfer’s Elbow
COMMONLY MISUNDERSTOOD IN THE RECOVERY PLAN BY PROFESSIONALS
1. Inflammation scam: INFLAMMATION is never the cause of the pain unless it is truly a sprain. Again, ice, NSAIDs, and Corticosteroids can do more harm than good. Unless edema (fluid) or visible swelling is apparent, this is usually a wrong prescription. Inflammation necessary to heal it can trap blood flow.
On the other hand,Inflammatory Chemicals released by your body due to dying cells attract the fluid that causes swelling. For this reason, using cold therapy to control and keep both inflammations and swelling in check is a crucial part of the healing process, especially at the early stages.
In chronic cases, NSAIDs and Corticosteroids are only counter-productive because they do not get to the source of the problem, and they have a host of nasty long term side effects.
2. Rest: Although the lack of rests or enough breaks probably caused the area to have tendonitis, too much rest causes necrosis or atrophy (decreases the blood flow to the area) and that is the second biggest problem besides overuse itself in the chronic stages. Rest is a double-edged sword; it can cause atrophy (loss of muscle mass if you stop using them) and when not used or when overused can cause more serious neuropathic injury. It plays the most important role in the acute stage. However, this should never be complete rest.
TRADITIONAL OUTDATED “CURES” FOR TENNIS ELBOW
Doctors respond to inflammation by telling you to rest and strengthen or eliminate the area surgically. Only partial rest and partial strengthening will help. They don’t tell you how and when to do that and how much. They leave you high and dry, and this is because they do not specialize in musculoskeletal injury. On the other hand,the Occupational or Physical therapist, unfortunately, more times than not use modalities and stretches that only scratches the surface of your problem. These include:
• Ultrasound: that is like trying to heat up a frozen turkey with a mini heating tool. It only scratches the surface (although that area it does surface might be better than nothing).
• Cold laser: good, but inflammation is not the cause of the problem, and that light (which is rarely strong enough anyways) only gets small areas so it can be tedious.
• Stretching/strengthening: although these can be good in context, they are not working properly because the area is full of scar tissue adhesions and only pulls and irritates at the area.