Also referred to as lateral epicondylitis, tennis elbow is a strain, injury, or inflammation of the muscles and tendons that are found at the back of your arm; around the elbow area. These tendons attach your extensor carpi radialis to your outer lateral epicondyle hence the name epicondylitis. Although it commonly affects tennis players as the name insinuates, it doesn’t mean that the injury is only tennis-related. It also affects people who engage in a lot of forearm movements like painters, butchers, or carpenters.
Symptoms of Tennis Elbow
You know you have this condition when;
- You experience tenderness outside your elbow.
- When you experience persistent aching and morning stiffness on your elbow.
- You can experience soreness in your forearm muscles.
- When you experience persistent pain in your elbow upon grasping or lifting an object.
Causes of Tennis Elbow
Tennis elbow is caused by a repetitive motion on your forearm. This motion strains to put pressure on the muscles and tendons around your elbow. This constant strain gradually tears off your tissues, causing inflammation and pain that leads to tennis elbow. The strain maybe as a result of constant playing of tennis, manual activities like plumbing, repetitive typing that involves your wrist moving, and activities that involve constant bending of your elbow like playing the violin.
Guideline For Treating Tennis Elbow At Home
Tennis elbow is a common condition that most affects tennis players. Fortunately, the condition can be cured at home without the need to involve any medical and therapist costs. These remedies help to minimize inflammation and relieve the amount of pain. Although they have proved to work before, it’s important to seek medical help if the pain persists. The remedies are;
- Rest your elbow : Although it sounds simple and ineffective, resting your elbow is a perfect remedy to tennis elbow. Resting your elbow means that you are not subjecting it to any movements that might trigger inflammation or elbow pain. This gives room for the condition to cure.
- Ice pack : An ice pack is a magical home remedy to treating tennis elbow, further you can follow RICE protocol. It helps to relax soothe, relieve pain, and reduce inflammation. However, it’s advisable not to rub the pack directly on the affected area. Instead, wrap it in a cloth and hold it on the affected area for 20 minutes. Repeat the process many times in a day to effective results.
- Deep tissue massage : Deep tissue massage is therapy for several inflammation issues. It helps to cure back pains, stiff neck, sore shoulders, and tennis elbow amongst many. Through deep tissue massage, firm and gentle strokes are used to reach out to the deepest layer of your affected elbow muscles. This helps to soothe, relieve pain, and reduce soreness.
- Use of castor oil and hot water : Combining the two also acts as a perfect home remedy for treating tennis elbow. Castor oil consists of ricinoleic acid compounds with anti-inflammatory properties that help to soothe and cure inflammation around your elbow tendons and tissues. Hot water provides a soothing heat that helps to reduce pain in the affected area.
- Consumption of pineapples : It has been proving that consumption of fresh pineapples is also a home remedy to tennis elbow. Most will wonder how this is possible. Pineapples are rich in vitamin C that stimulates the production of collagen which speeds up the tennis elbow recovery process. Pineapple also contains bromelain enzymes with analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties for tennis elbow cure.
How Do I Prevent Tennis Elbow?
After successfully curing your tennis elbow, you should practice the following preventive measures to prevent reoccurrence.
- First of all, do exercises meant to strengthen both your wrist and your forearm muscles. Some of these exercises include finger stretch, wrist flexor, and wrist flexor stretch.
- For those that use tools at work, make sure you go for tools with good padding and bigger grips.
- It’s also advisable to avoid making the same hand and arm movements repeatedly.
- Always ensure to wear your tennis elbow brace.
- Finally, make sure you avoid working with a bent wrist
FAQs – Frequently Ask Questions
Does Physical Therapy Help With Tennis Elbow?
Yes. Contracting a tennis elbow means that the tendons on the outside of your elbow are overworked due to repeated use. This implies that you need to use your joints more effectively and rid them of the strain. However for anyone to achieve this, it means you have to indulge yourself in some physical exercises so as to strengthen your joints. However, before doing so, you should seek advice from your physical therapist on the most effective exercises suitable for you.
Does Tennis Elbow Ever Go Away?
Yes. It is very common for self-limiting conditions just like tendonitis to fade away over time, Irrespective of whether you seek medical attention or not. Normally, it takes between six months to two years for it to completely fade away on its own. If you want faster healing, doing some specific exercises and home remedies above will help you achieve that.
What Happens If Tennis Elbow Is Left Untreated?
In most cases, when tennis elbow is left untreated, it doesn’t lead to any serious conditions. As a matter of fact, this condition heals itself over time. However, if you persist in doing the same type of activities that triggered the condition; your healing will be slow. It can take up to two years for the pain to completely get dispelled.
Does Squeezing A Ball Help Tennis Elbow?
Yes. People with developed grip strength stand very minimal chances of contracting tennis elbow. Squeezing a ball helps a lot in ameliorating your grip strength, hence being very beneficial for people with Tennis elbow.
Are Compression Sleeves Good For Tennis Elbow?
Yes. Having a tennis elbow brace and compressions sleeve on comes with numerous advantages. To begin with, these sleeves apply pressure on your affected tendons and also support the whole elbow joint. Therefore, it greatly helps in the healing process. Moreover, they improve mobility and reduce pain by keeping your joints and tendons super warm.
Should You Massage On Tennis Elbow?
Yes. Deep tissue massage is very helpful in easing tennis elbow. Actually, it helps in several ways; these include breaking up scar tissue, alleviating pain, muscle spasms, and improving flexibility.
Do Push Ups Aggravate Tennis Elbow?
Yes. Although exercising is a nice measure in preventing tennis elbow, one rule of thumb is, avoid exercises that can cause pain to your arms. Pushups put a strain on elbow flexors which in turn triggers further discomfort on the lateral tendons of your elbow.
Tennis elbow very common condition that should not freak you out. This is because it has several home remedies that will make you feel better in no time. It also has several preventive measures that will fight its reoccurrence. Affected by the condition? Try our home solutions above.