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Active Release Techniques for Tennis Elbow Relief

Tennis elbow is a condition that causes inflammation and pain around the elbow, often resulting from repetitive use of the joint. This condition can affect not only tennis players but also individuals who engage in other repetitive motions, such as using a keyboard and mouse. If left untreated, tennis elbow can lead to chronic pain, weakness, and even the need for surgery. Fortunately, Active Release Techniques (ART®) for Tennis Elbow offer a non-invasive treatment method that can effectively address pain and promote healing.

What is Active Release Techniques (ART®)?

Active Release Techniques (ART®) is a specialized form of soft tissue treatment that focuses on resolving issues related to muscle tightness. This technique involves manual therapy applied to injured soft tissue areas while the patient actively moves the affected joint or muscle. By applying deep tension to the injured soft tissue and creating a longitudinal sliding motion, ART® aims to target and eliminate fibrosis and scar tissue. This therapy can help facilitate the healing of soft tissue injuries, increase flexibility, improve cardiovascular health, and enhance proprioception.

ART® is a patented treatment that requires extensive training and expertise. Only a limited number of practitioners worldwide are certified in this technique. By locating and breaking down scar tissue and adhesions, ART® can alleviate pain, numbness, weakness, stiffness, and biomechanical dysfunction associated with repetitive strain injuries (RSI).

Understanding Tennis Elbow

Image showing location of Tennis elbow pain

Tennis elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis, is a common condition that affects the outside of the forearm near the elbow. It is typically caused by repetitive motions that strain the muscles and tendons in the area. While the name suggests a connection to tennis, this condition can be triggered by various activities involving repetitive motions, such as painting, cooking, or playing a musical instrument.

The repetitive motion involved in tennis elbow can lead to inflammation, microtears, and the formation of scar tissue in the muscle belly that puts undue and excessive force on the tendons insertion on the elbow. This scar tissue is weak and stiff, resulting in further injury and chronic pain if left untreated. Symptoms of tennis elbow include frequent aching on the outside of the forearm and sharp pains triggered by gripping or twisting actions. If not addressed, tennis elbow can weaken the hand and wrist, limiting functionality and causing pain in these areas.

Why Tennis Elbow Shouldn't Be Ignored

Ignoring tennis elbow can have serious consequences. When the body tries to heal the condition without assistance, it may develop scar tissue, which can further impede movement and cause chronic pain. The pain associated with tennis elbow can extend from the back of the forearm to the fingers, affecting daily activities and diminishing quality of life. Additionally, untreated tennis elbow can lead to weakening of the hand and wrist, making simple tasks challenging and painful. A cascade of inflammation, scarring, pain, inflammation and more scarring becomes the daily occurrence at that elbow.

How ART® Can Treat Tennis Elbow

Active Release Techniques (ART®) can effectively address tennis elbow by targeting and breaking down scar tissue that develops at the site of injury. By reducing adhesion formation between muscles, ART® decreases stress on tendons and limits the occurrence of microtears. This therapy not only helps dissipate scar tissue but also keeps the muscles active and engaged during treatment sessions, promoting strength and flexibility by ensuring the muscle opens and closes fully which will lead to proper absorption of forces. Absorbing the forces in the muscle will prevent the excessive stress and tearing of the tendon at the elbow.

During an ART® session, a trained clinician applies manual therapy to the injured soft tissue areas while the patient actively moves the affected joint or muscle through its full range. This process helps to create a longitudinal sliding motion of the soft tissue, including nerves, ligaments, and muscles. By removing fibrosis and scar tissue, ART® enables a greater range of motion and reduces the risk of extended and chronic pain.

Active Release Techniques for Tennis Elbow Relief

Active Release Techniques (ART®) offer several benefits for individuals suffering from tennis elbow. By targeting and breaking down scar tissue, ART® promotes healing and increases the range of motion in the affected joint. Here are some specific advantages of ART® for tennis elbow:

  • Scar Tissue Removal: ART® focuses on eliminating scar tissue and adhesions that contribute to pain and limited mobility in tennis elbow. By breaking down these adhesions, ART® allows for improved tissue healing and restoration.

  • Increased Flexibility: Active release therapy helps to increase flexibility in the affected muscles and tendons. By combining manual therapy with active movement, ART® ensures that the muscles are stretched and lengthened, promoting greater flexibility and range of motion.

  • Reduced Pain: ART® can alleviate the pain associated with tennis elbow by targeting the underlying cause of the condition. By releasing tension in the affected soft tissues, ART® helps to relieve pain and discomfort, allowing individuals to resume their daily activities without limitations.

  • Improved Strength: Active release therapy not only focuses on scar tissue removal but also keeps the muscles active and engaged during treatment sessions. This engagement helps to strengthen the affected muscles, promoting overall muscle health and reducing the risk of future injuries.

  • Enhanced Healing: By facilitating the healing process and improving blood circulation to the affected area, ART® can expedite the recovery from tennis elbow. This therapy promotes the growth of healthy tissue and helps to prevent the formation of additional scar tissue.

  • Prevention of Chronic Conditions: Seeking early treatment for tennis elbow with ART® can prevent the development of chronic conditions. By addressing the root cause of the injury and providing effective therapy, ART® helps individuals avoid prolonged pain and the need for invasive surgeries.

Who Can Benefit from ART®?

Active Release Techniques (ART®) are not limited to tennis players; they can benefit anyone suffering from tennis elbow or other soft tissue injuries. Whether you are an athlete, office worker, or engaged in any activity involving repetitive motions, ART® can provide relief and improve your overall well-being. Here are some individuals who can benefit from ART®:

  • Athletes: Active Release Techniques have been used to improve athletic performance for individuals ranging from professional athletes to casual sports enthusiasts. By addressing biomechanical dysfunctions and releasing restrictions, ART® can enhance athletic performance and help athletes reach their full potential.

  • Office Workers: Individuals who spend long hours working on a computer or performing repetitive tasks, such as typing or using a mouse, can develop tennis elbow. ART® can effectively treat this condition by targeting the affected soft tissues and promoting healing.

  • Musicians: Musicians who play instruments that require repetitive motions, such as guitarists, pianists, or violinists, are also prone to developing tennis elbow. Active release therapy can alleviate the pain and discomfort associated with this condition, allowing musicians to continue playing without limitations.

  • Manual Laborers: Individuals involved in manual labor, such as construction workers or factory workers, often engage in repetitive motions that can lead to tennis elbow. ART® can provide relief and promote healing in these cases, allowing individuals to continue performing their job duties effectively.

Seek Professional Assistance for Tennis Elbow

If you are experiencing pain and would like to seek professional assistance for a consultation and personalized treatment, contact Performance Care Stretch Clinic. We can provide specialized care and guidance to address your specific needs. We are trained in Active Release Techniques (ART®) and can help you overcome tennis elbow and other soft tissue injuries. Don't let tennis elbow limit your activities or cause prolonged pain. Seek early intervention and start your journey to recovery today.


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