The Best Treatment for Elbow Pain associated with Tennis Elbow / Climber's Elbow

Elbow Pain? Tennis Elbow? Climber’s Elbow? Lateral Epicondylitis?

This (sometimes debilitating) injury can often keep you from doing the activities you love.

We are constantly running into patients that, due to pain in their elbows, aren’t able to participate in their hobby whether it be climbing, golfing, knitting, or pouring a tasty cup of coffee.

If you’ve been asking around, you’ve heard of people wearing wrist braces, stretching, getting cortisone injections, and getting massage. But what’s the best treatment for nagging elbow pain?

An article that came out last year in “Hand” a publication of the American Association for Hand Surgery compared the short and long-term results from three treatment options:

  • Wearing a brace and stretching,

  • Steroid (cortisone) injection in the elbow

  • Transverse Friction / Deep Tissue Massage

    In this study they tested three outcomes:

  • Pain Levels,

  • Grip Strength

  • Arm Functionality

What they found was that the cortisone injection and the deep tissue massage regiments were both beneficial at the short-term follow up of 6 weeks. However, of the three study groups, only the transverse friction massage made a significant difference in all three categories (pain, disability, and grip strength) at 6 months

From this information, we can glean that in order to effectively treat our elbow pain, the best option is understanding exactly what muscles are affected and treating those with transverse friction massage

In our office:

In order to get long-term benefits and prevent the problem from coming back, we start with deep tissue/transverse friction massage techniques such as Active Release Technique and Graston. We then include specific exercises to make sure this pain doesn’t come back. Check out the following videos for three options of exercises to help your elbow pain. The key here is consistency and diligence.  If you perform these every day, you’ll get results.

If you have any questions or need someone to figure your specific situation out, schedule an appointment!