top of page

Why the healthcare profession fails Tennis Elbow Sufferers

If you are reading this, then it's highly likely that you've had elbow pain for a while. You've probably tried icing it, resting it as much as you can and maybe even some stretches or exercises you found on YouTube or Dr Google.

If none of those things worked, you likely popped a couple of ibuprofen or Tylenol and started searching up straps or braces.

Maybe you made an appointment to see your dr and they sent you to physical therapy. When that didn't work, your dr referred you to the orthopedic specialist who may have suggested an injection or two, maybe more therapy and finally surgery, as nothing else seemed to help it!

Where are you on this journey?

Hopefully, well before the invasive treatments!

Tennis elbow sufferers are massively let down by the healthcare profession.

Why is that so?

Firstly, it must be said that all healthcare professionals are helpers. It's why they go into the profession in the first place - they want to help. But they can only look within their experience for solutions to problems. Did you ever hear the saying, "If you only have a hammer, then every problem is a nail"? Herein lies the first issue. Tennis elbow affects 2% of the population. Compare that to the 90% of the population who will experience back pain.

Tennis elbow sufferers are an exclusive group.

Apply that to the well-meaning general physical therapist you were sent to. Based on these numbers, they likely see 1 or 2 tennis elbow sufferers per year. How then can they possibly hone their skills and ability to efficiently and effectively treat a relatively rare (in their eyes) condition like tennis elbow? The answer is, they can't.

You likely got cookie-cutter exercises, that maybe the person with shoulder impingement or carpal tunnel syndrome got too. If you looked around the department, did you see everyone doing similar exercises? Unless you were in a specialist tennis elbow clinic, that's a BAD sign!

Specific injuries need specific strategies to heal them. Now, yes, there's going to be some overlap of the use of heat and ice, for example, they're pretty generic. But there are very specific exercises that heal tennis elbow that wouldn't be prescribed for any other condition.

See a general practitioner, and get general advice. See a specialist, and get specialist advice.

The other limitation that healthcare practitioners have is their "toolbox". These are the strategies that each individual practitioner has available to them in order to help your particular condition. For example, doctors are allowed to prescribe medications. That's one of the "tools" in their box. Some will be trained in giving injections. Another tool. And yet others will be trained in surgery. Yes, you guessed it, another tool in their box.

Physical therapists can recommend stretches, exercises and other modalities. But did you know that each doctor, therapist, and healthcare provider, will have undergone different postgraduate training courses? Some have a special interest in sports, so learn more about sports injuries and how best to keep athletes on the field or return them to play in the fastest and safest way possible. Others have an interest in cancer care and learn intensively about lymphedema treatments. Others focus on vestibular issues such as vertigo. These specialist practitioners learn everything they can about their specific niche which makes them highly knowledgeable and the "go-to" person for specific issues.

Think about it, if you were having a heart problem, you wouldn't expect your general practitioner, your primary care physician to resolve it for you would you? You'd expect them to refer to you a specialist cardiologist!

The more niche you can get your provider, the more specialist treatment you'll get.

Don't accept general treatment for a specific problem - you are doing yourself a disservice and wasting your time, money and hopes on something that cannot help you in the way you want and need to be helped.

Seek out the specialist and get the specific answers you need in order to heal.

Contact me to claim your free consultation and learn the first steps to healing your tennis elbow.

82 views0 comments


bottom of page