July 26, 2006
Tennis elbow is medically referred to as lateral epicondylitis. This condition relates to an inflammation of the tissues adjoining the lateral epicondyle of the humerus, being located on the outside portion of the elbow. The major site of inflammation is the tendon and its surrounding sheath. The hallmark of tendinitis is disruption and malalignment of collagen fiber, usually caused by repetitive microtrauma.
The severity of elbow pain ranges from trivial to incapacitating. Mild cases are painful after exercise and often the next morning on rising. The pain usually subsides with activity or the warming of muscle. Frequently athletes will say they can “run through” the pain. Advanced cases note pain that persists both during and after everyday activity. The grip is weakened and lifting a cup of coffee may be agonizing. Pain often radiates into the forearm muscles. A quick review of gross muscle anatomy will clarify.
Tendons are a continuation of the fascial covering of muscle bundles that extend to join muscle to bone. Important to note is that each muscle bundle is individually wrapped in its own fascia. The fascia collectively gathers many neighboring bundles to form the tendon. Everything works well as long as all muscle bundles shortened and lengthen in harmony. When renegade muscle bundles shorten and fail to fully lengthen, they are referred to as trigger points. These shortened muscle bundles are the precursor of tennis elbow.
Successful treatment of tennis elbow must address both the inflamed tendon and the offending muscle trigger points. These shortened muscle bundles MUST be frequently lengthened if one is to obtain meaningful relief and eventual cure.
In 1997 researchers at Ball State University found conclusive evidence that instrument assisted longitudinal massage of injured tendons will hasten recovery. Similar findings were documented by Dr. Andrew Bonci, et al., while researching Intracell Technology. According to Dr. Bonci, “Intracell Technology allows a rehabilitating patient to self-perform therapeutic procedures when needed. Dedicated use of Intracell Technology will hasten recovery and lessen costs.”