Rolfing And Tennis Elbow

What Exactly Is Tennis Elbow?

Most cases of Tennis Elbow are not due to swinging a racket and hitting a ball. In fact less than 5% of elbow pain cases can actually be blamed on the game. It is more commonly found in people who perform leisure or work activities that require repetitive elbow, arm or wrist movement.

How Does It “Technically” Happen?

Tennis Elbow could also be referred to as “tendinosis” – tiny tears in the tendon, which is a tough band of fibrous connective tissue that connects muscle to bone. In Tennis Elbow the tendon fibers that extend the wrist get torn & inflamed, leading to pain & spasm.

Photo Courtesy : homeremedies.com

Photo Courtesy : homeremedies.com

What Causes It?

Tennis Elbow develops over time – it happens due to jobs & activities that require the repetitive arm motions or gripping over & over again (could be called Repetitive Strain Syndrome). For example, plumbers, painters and massage therapists are prone to Tennis Elbow.

Who Is At A Higher Risk?

Tennis Elbow is most common in people aged between 30 and 50, who have occupations requiring repetitive arm movements. This includes carpenters, data entry operators, painters, plumbers and massage therapists. People who play racket sports such as tennis, squash and racquetball are also prone to Tennis Elbow (especially if the player uses poor biomechanics to perform the backhand stroke).

Symptoms Of Tennis Elbow

Tennis Elbow could cause deep & sudden pain when lifting something, making a grip, shaking hands or straightening your wrist.

How Does Rolfing Help?

Rolfing improves the biomechanics of the body to perform repeated manual tasks reducing the risk of injury. Rolfer’s achieve this goal by balancing the tensions in the soft tissue networks that support healthy joint motion.

In the case of Tennis Elbow, the Rolfer will free the restrictions between the two bones of the forearm known as the radius and ulna. This improves the biomechanics of the elbow and allows the bones to move with correct relationship to one another. Rolfing restores the myofascial span of the wrist extensors and provides an opportunity for the tendon to heal.

By restoring full mobility to the back, shoulders, ribs and spine the Rolfer enables the rest of the body to support the arm in motion. During the Rolfing process the entire body becomes realigned and organized in a way to support movement without strain. As a result the entire body is involved in the performance of the task most efficiently. This prevents faulty biomechanics that is the biggest risk factor for injury and chronic pain.

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The contents in this article are not meant to be diagnostic or prescriptive.  Elbow problems are sometimes complex, and a physician should always be consulted before choosing a course of treatment.