Are You at Risk of Getting Tennis Elbow?

Is Tennis Elbow Only for Tennis Players?

The answer is No.

Who Gets Tennis Elbow and Why?

Anyone that has a job or performs a sport that overuses the muscles on the outside of the elbow. Some examples of professionals at risk are:

  • Painters
  • Plumbers
  • Auto mechanics.

The muscles that originate on the outside of the elbow are used to extend the wrist, so any activity where someone repeatedly extends the wrist can result in lateral epicondylitis or inflammation of the muscle.

Where Did The Term Tennis Elbow Come From?

According to New England Baptist Hospital, the term tennis elbow became popular in 1883 due to an increase in elbow pain or Lateral Epicondylitis due to a new popular sport called Tennis.

What are the Signs and Symptoms?

  • Aching on the outside of the elbow with activity and after activity
  • Pain with gripping items such as a cup or racquet
  • Pain with moving the wrist up
  • Swelling over the lateral elbow
  • Tenderness to touch the lateral elbow
  • Pain radiating from the elbow to the wrist

What are the potential Causes?

  • Performing repetitive activities such as tennis or work activities without proper warm-up or rest breaks
  • Weak muscles in the shoulder, shoulder blade, or wrist
  • Referred pain from a pinched nerve in the neck. Requires a Physical Therapy evaluation to differentiate

What are some of the treatments?

  • Rest, Ice, and stretch
  • Physical Therapy
  • Dry Needling
  • Kinesiotape
  • Low Level Laser Therapy
  • Amino Neuro Frequency or ANF for short (

Should I use a strap and do they Work?

Tennis Elbow strap Disclaimer Amazon affiliate commission earned
Tennis Elbow Strap
*click to view strap on Amazon. Disclaimer: affiliate commission earned

Healing from tennis elbow is difficult due to the constant use of our hands pulling on the area that is injured. Envision slamming your finger in a door over and over and asking it to heal. A tennis elbow strap reduces the pull on the origin of the muscle; which allows you to use your hand for everyday activity without overworking the muscle so it can heal.

If you use a strap and do NOT experience significant improvement in a week, see a physical therapist or a physician for further assessment. A medical professional can differentiate if you are experiencing tennis elbow or if your pain is coming from somewhere else.

If you have persistent elbow pain that is interfering with your activities, call our offices today to start your road to recovery. To Set up an appointment call 803-831-1454. 

These tips are for information purposes only and are not intended to diagnose or replace recommendations by your physical therapist or physician. Never start a new exercise routine or treatment regimen without consulting your physician, physical therapist, or personal trainer. 


What is Sports Physical Therapy?

3.5 million

According to John Hopkins University, this is the number of sports injuries that occur in children and teenagers every year in the United States. In fact, sports injuries account for ⅓ of all childhood injuries. Another 5 million sports injuries occur in adults at every level of competition whether it’s in the gym, on the company softball team, or on the Carolina Panthers.

So what counts as a sports injury?

Any injury that occurs during exercise or sport. This includes common musculoskeletal conditions but can also include concussions.


This is how often treatment by a healthcare provider was sought out by those who experience a sports injury. Physicians, chiropractors, and physical therapists are the most commonly sought out providers, especially those who specialize in treatment of sport related injuries.

So what is sports physical therapy?

As physical therapists, our goal is to restore the physical ability to live your life without limitation or pain. Sports physical therapy focuses on returning an athlete to the sport or activity that they love and without limits. Treatment begins with an emphasis on pain reduction and activity modification to allow for the injury to heal. As symptoms improve, treatment shifts gears to reconditioning. This is to prepare the athlete for sport specific activities by building a solid base of strength and endurance. Once this is achieved, exercises and activities that develop skills specific to each sport are implemented. With completion of these sport specific activities, a return to sport strategy is developed to transition back into full sport participation.

Who is appropriate for sports physical therapy?

Anyone who experiences an injury that limits their ability to exercise or play sports. No matter the severity of the injury, everyone can benefit from sports physical therapy to be sure they return at 100%!

If you or someone you know has experienced an injury while exercising or playing a sport, click the link below to contact us today to see how physical therapy can get you back in the game!

Click here!


Pain is a “pain in the butt!”

We have a guest blog post today written by Dr. Bennett Hixson. Dr. Hixson is a Doctor of physical Therapy at Lifestyle PT and he introduces you to where pain comes from and how to treat it without medication, surgery, or injections. I hope you enjoy. Karen S Shuler PT, DPT

Where Does Pain Come From?

Pain is a “pain in the butt”, but what if I told you it was a pain in your brain? The brain plays a large role in the severity of pain. When dealing with pain the brain seeks a way to protect the body; like a mother would their child. When the brain chooses to protect the body, it increases the sensitivity of the overall nervous system which brings us to a “fight or flight” response. During the fight or flight response the brain increases how sensitive the body is, to gather as much information as possible, to protect against threats. Due to this “perceived threat”, the nervous system is so sensitive that otherwise normal body experiences are amplified and result in pain. Light, Noises, and light touch can now be perceived as a threat and produce a pain response.   This can happen due to a normal response to injury, but once that pain or injury becomes chronic, our nervous system continues to stay overly sensitive. The body keeps itself in this “fight or flight” mode and it begins to build anxiety and stress because our brain is constantly in fear of pain and is attempting to avoid these threats.

You may be thinking how does one correct this? Well, many people use pain medications whether it be over the counter or prescription, but here at Lifestyle Physical Therapy we utilize Alpha-Stim as a non-pharmaceutical based pain management option in conjunction with exercise to re-teach the brain what pain free movement is.

Alpha-Stim: How does it work?

The Alpha-Stim Aid is Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (CES) that emits a current to the brain that reduces the sensitivity of the nervous system. (Sounds scary but we simply place clips along the earlobes to emit the current and it is pain free). The body has multiple frequencies it operates on with fight or flight being the peak. On the opposite end of the spectrum is Delta, or deep sleep (where the body performs a significant amount of healing) Right in between those two frequencies we have Alpha, which should be our baseline operating frequency.  This is the frequency targeted via Alpha-Stim. By sending this current to the brain we are assisting the brain to communicate with the rest of the body to relax and thus the body exits the fight or flight response.

Some patients can feel an instant reduction or relief to their pain while others may take more time to get their body on board with changing the body’s definition of “normal.” Many times, the immediate effect depends on the duration and severity of pain. In regard to joint or body part specific pain, Alpha-Stim also offers the Alpha-Stim M which comes with smart probes and AS trodes that can be attached directly to the site of pain. This allows the unit to provide Microcurrent Electrical Therapy (MET) to the affected nerve endings that are sending pain sensations to the brain.

How does Lifestyle PT utilize Alpha-Stim?

At Lifestyle PT we utilize both CES and MET in conjunction with therapy to get you back to life! We offer the ability to purchase or rent both Alpha-Stim Models: Model Aid and Model M; which includes education and learning on how to use the device on your own. A home unit can be helpful for upcoming surgeries, to accelerate healing and reduce post-surgical pain response.  The Alpha Stim AID; which offers CES only, is cleared by the FDA for treatment of anxiety, depression and insomnia.  The Alpha Stim M; which offers MET in addition to CES is FDA cleared for relief from acute pain, chronic pain, insomnia, anxiety, and depression.  

We do offer a 2 week free trial of Alpha-Stim, in the clinic, to determine if you will respond well to this type of treatment. If you have any questions or would like to set up an appointment, call or text our offices at 803-831-1454. Lifestyle Physical Therapy’s Doctors of Physical Therapy are ready to help you get back to doing the things you love with less pain and without medication, injections, or surgery.

For more information and to review the research behind Alpha-Stime you can visit

Bennett Hixson DPT
Physical Therapist at Lifestyle Physical Therapy

This Article is intended for education Purposes only. Never start an exercise program without first consulting your physician or Physical Therapist. Never Go against the medical advice of your physician, physical therapist, or healthcare provider. If you are not cleared for exercise, you need an evaluation from a physical therapist to determine the safest way to begin an exercise program.