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Tennis elbow earned its name because playing tennis used to be the main cause. These days it is much more commonly caused by computer usage. There are many recommended practices to heal your tennis elbow. Unfortunately, many of these recommendations do not get at the root cause of tennis elbow. In this blog, I would like to address these common recommendations and give you my own "Gold Approved" recommendations for healing your elbow pain.

tennis_elbow.gifTennis elbow is a classic repetitive strain injury (RSI): that affects the muscles and tendons on the back of the arm and the outside of the elbow. Tennis elbow is a form of "tendinopathy," which is a fancy way of saying there is something wrong with your tendon. In a 2008 scientific paper by Andres et al, tendinopathy is “any painful condition occurring in and around tendons in response to overuse.” Furthermore, “little or no inflammation is present in these conditions.” With little to no inflammation, your standard anti-inflammatory regimen of icing and ibuprofen will help with the short term pain/swelling but won’t work miracles in healing tennis elbow.
Here are some of the most common doctor recommendations for helping tennis elbow:
  • Rest. Many doctors will tell you to avoid activities that aggravate your elbow pain. However, the condition might improve with rest but typically comes back shortly after resuming the activity that caused it.
  • Pain relievers. Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB) or naproxen (Aleve) are another common doctor recommendation. These medications might help you make it through your match, however, they are not a great long term solution because they don't treat the root cause of the condition.
  • Ice. Your typical primary care doctor and myself, may tell you to apply ice or a cold pack for 10 minutes three to four times a day. This is fantastic for reducing any immediate inflammation and will reduce your pain. However, this again will not treat the root cause of your condition.
  • Alter your technique. Consult a coach to improve/change your swing. 
If you want your injury to heal faster, more completely and not just coddle your painful elbow, here are some better or "Gold Approved" treatment recommendations:
  • Reduce scar tissue and painful nerve endings formed by your activity which is reducing blood flow. We can achieve this by using rapid release technology, Graston technique or Gwa-Sha, or deep tissue myofascial release.
  • Adjust the elbow, shoulder and wrist. This is best done by a Certified Chiropractic Extremity Practitioner (C.C.E.P).
  • Cold laser; a medical device that increases the amount of energy delivered to the tissue to speed up the healing process and reduce inflammation. It increases ATP production and cellular transport (cold laser is a couple of steps above therapeutic ultrasound).
  • Tennis elbow support brace, similar to the Mueller Hg80 Tennis Elbow brace. Wearing a forearm strap or brace will change the fulcrum of the muscle slightly, thus reduce stress on the injured tissue.   

Tips For Weight Loss /Getting in Shape:

Change your sets/reps every two weeks.  2 sets of 10 for two weeks… then 3 sets of 5…then pyramid…  Changing your sets and reps will result in muscle confusion and growth.

You need to stay more anabolic vs. catabolic.  Every time you eat you become anabolic when insulin is released into your blood stream.  Rather than eat (3) 1,000 calorie meals per day, you will get more muscle growth by eating the same food spread out over (10) 100 calorie meals.  I would not recommend this type of diligence but hopefully you understand this important principle.


Stretching can be for injury prevention, flexibility or muscle growth.   Unlike what we were taught in high school 20 years ago, you should warm your muscle up THEN stretch.  Research suggests you are more likely to injure a muscle by stretching it while it is cold.  If you are pumped up from lifting and you stretch that pumped muscle it will stimulate growth.  This is the same principle as taking creatine (a cell volumizer) to enlarge your muscle and cause growth.

If you are trying to lose body fat do not do a calorie restriction diet for more than 2 weeks.  We know through studies of the enzyme fat lipase that you lose fat when dieting for up to two weeks.  After two weeks your body eliminates that enzyme fat lipase and switches from burning fat to burning muscle to reduce your metabolism to “save your life”…since you are a bad hunter…is theory. 

Stretch your flexors and strengthen your extensors.  Flexors are the muscles that bring you into fetal position (looking like an old man) extension is the opposite direction.  As we age typically the flexors which are used more take over and we inch closer to looking like a stereotypical old person with a  humped back …this does not have to be you.  Stretch those pecs out, strengthen those rhomboids, and strengthen the only rotator cuff muscle that externally rotates (infraspinatus) to keep you from getting gym (or money) arms.

Best protein is measured by nitrogen retention in the muscles: Whey protein is ranked the best.  In my opinion:  the most absorbable natural protein is egg whites…the yolk contains all of the fat and cholesterol.

Creatine is a cell volumizer found naturally in meats.  It helps with strength and growth by assisting in your muscles by making them swell via a diffusion gradient.  

Increasing your strength without coordination makes as much sense as giving a Mustang 5.0 car to a 16 year old the day they got their drivers license.  Try exercises that make you focus on coordination so you build up those stabilizer muscles. 

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