What is Tennis Elbow?
The formal term is Lateral epicondylitis, it’s known as tennis elbow simply because it is common in tennis players. It usually affects people aged 30-60. Although it’s called tennis elbow, it isn’t only influenced by physical strains. Lateral epicondylitis is partly related to hereditary, chemical, vascular and hormonal factors, as well as the natural aging process .
It is common for Tennis elbow to become chronic in nature, as it is aggravated by overuse of the finger tendon, from repetitive, monotonous, rapid and excessive movements of the hand .
Treatment tends to vary – from physical therapy through physiotherapy, chiropractic, massage therapy or acupuncture. Exercise and specific stretching can be import too. The goals of treatment is to reduce pain, accelerate the healing process, avoid arm overload and return the patient to activity or sport as quickly and safely as possible.
What is Shockwave?
Shockwaves are sound wave that carry energy to the painful area of the muscles, bones or tissues that are the origin of the pain. The energy of the sound causes compression of the tissues. The energy transmitted to the affected tissues stimulate the process of bone, tendon, and soft tissue regeneration .
Shockwave for Tennis Elbow
Shockwave has been shown to be an effective, safe, non-invasive treatment option for tennis elbow.
Research compared the use of shockwave on chronic tennis elbow compared to the combination of NSAIDs (anti-inflammatories, local topical creams, laser, and ultrasound). In this trial, it was demonstrated that both were actually helpful, but shockwave was most beneficial.
This trial showed :
- 26% improvement in the thickness of the common extensor tendon (compared to 14.5% for the alternative treatment). Both showed to be helpful; a sign that there was physical improvement to the muscles/tendons involved
- The patients with shockwave showed a greater improvement in pain rating versus the other treatment group (60% improvement in shockwave versus 37% in alternative treatment group.
Overall it was found shockwave therapy is a non-invasive, effective, safe and convenient. The therapeutic effect is cumulative and requires, in most cases 3-5 sessions, although most patients experience pain reduction after the first treatment session .
Shockwave at Absolute Health and Wellness
At Absolute Health and Wellness, we offer shockwave therapy for Tennis Elbow (aka Lateral epicondylitis) . We may use a combination of tools to help, including shockwave, but also Acupuncture, physiotherapy, chiropractic and massage therapy.
All shockwave appointments are carried out by a registered practitioner so if you have Extended Health Benefits, your benefits will cover these appointments the same way it would for physio, chiro, massage, or naturopathy.
Interested in learning more?
Read on in our series of articles on Musculoskeletal Issues!
About the Author - Sonia Gashgarian
Sonia Gashgarian is a registered physiotherapist who graduated with a Master of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of Toronto. Prior to this she completed her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology with Honours from the University of Waterloo. Sonia has completed courses in sports taping and basic kinesio-taping, as well as the McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy and Mulligan Concept. She also has her APTEI Acupuncture and Dry Needling Certification.
Sonia uses a variety of treatment techniques to help clients feel better and return to their regular activities as soon as possible. Her individualized treatments may include the following: education, joint mobilizations, exercise prescription, soft tissue release, trigger point release, taping, acupuncture and dry needling, cupping, and Gua Sha.
To book in please call us at (519) 442-2206 or click here.