Treating Lateral Epicondylitis with ISTM
Lateral epicondylitis also known as “tennis elbow,” is a painful condition that effects the tendons on the outside of the elbow and arm. You do not have to play tennis to develop this condition. Any type of repetitive gripping activity, specifically if it requires the use your thumb and first two fingers, can cause lateral epicondylitis. Individuals of any age can develop tennis elbow however, men and women age 40 and over are the individuals it seems to effect the most, it is also the number one cause of elbow pain.
What Parts of the Elbow Are Affected?
You have a bony area (knob) on the outside of your elbow. The knob is likely where your injured tendons are connected to the bone. Although, the pain is not limited to the elbow, it will likely radiate into both your upper and lower arm. Even though, the damage is in the tendons surrounding your elbow most people experience pain with using their hands, because the tendons run down the arm into the thumb and first two fingers.
How Did I Develop Lateral Epicondylitis?
If you are an avid tennis player that is the most likely culprit. If you have never picked up a tennis racket, then repetitive motions such as typing, knitting, or any activity that requires a repetitive motion. In simple term it is caused by overuse.
Symptoms of Lateral Epicondylitis
When you perform the following activities you are most likely to feel pain.
- Open the door
- Shake hands
- Swing any type of racket
- Grip an object
- Try to open a jar
- Straighten or flex your wrist
- Raise your hand
- Lift (even a gallon of milk) may cause pain
If you do not seek treatment within a reasonable amount of time (a day or two after you begin to feel the pain), the healing process will become more changeling and will take longer. Your doctor will likely order x-rays and an MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging) to confirm their diagnosis of lateral epicondylitis.
Once you injure the tendons, you are more likely to injury them again because they have weakened. While you will regain most or all of the function you lost, and the pain will be gone it is wise to take precautions to prevent another injury. Instead of giving up tennis, knitting or whatever repetitive motion caused the lateral epicondylitis just cut back and stay in tune with your body. If you start to notice any of the symptoms returning call for a treatment before it gets any worse.
Successfully Treating with ISTM
The most effective treatment for lateral epicondylitis injuries is instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization. ISTM is done by healthcare practitioners commonly chiropractors and physical therapists instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization employs tools, that are intended to help break up scar tissue that has developed as a result of the injury.
The tools allow the practitioners to locate and treat the injured lateral epicondylitis more successfully than other types of treatments. When a small part of the injured area is detected, the tool is forcefully rubbed over the injury site, the rubbing triggers an inflammatory response. This inflammation is essential for the body to absorb the scar tissue that has been broken down by the tools then new collagen can be produced to start the healing process. The person may experience some discomfort during the treatment and the most common side effects include redness, discomfort, and bruising.
Benefits of Instrumented Soft Tissue Mobilization
- Increased flexibility, which allows for a better range of motion, allowing more oxygen to reach the injured area, and help it heal quicker
- Improved function with each treatment the patient should gain more and more function of the effected area
The Gavilán Treatment
Created by Técnica Gavilán, Inc., the treatment is an ISTM technique that applies a system that is made up of functional treatment, manual therapy, and therapeutic modalities sustained by special instruments aimed to heal soft tissue injuries, such as Achilles tendonitis, adhesive capsulitis, and numerous other soft tissue injuries. It also the pain when the scar tissue is broken up into smaller pieces; the Gavilán Treatment helps decrease densification of the effected connective tissues. This enlarged solidity of connective tissue is caused by the uncommon collecting of hyaluronic acid molecules, which produce a unique combination that is softened then eventually liquefied by the friction from the tools being rubbed over the area and the increase in temperature caused by the ISTM treatments.
Técnica Gavilán sells ISTM tools specifically shaped for use during a Gavilán Treatment. The Gavilán Treatment has successfully treated numerous types of soft tissue injuries.