How to Treat Tennis Elbow at Home

Are you suffering from the painful condition of tennis elbow? You can find relief and treat it at home with these easy steps! Discover how to reduce the discomfort and get back to your life.

Quick facts: Treating Tennis Elbow At Home

  • ✅ Resting the affected arm and avoiding activities that worsen the pain is the best way to treat tennis elbow at home (Source: Mayo Clinic)
  • ✅ Applying a cold or warm compress to the affected area for 15 to 20 minutes several times daily may help reduce pain and swelling (Source: WebMD)
  • ✅ Stretching the muscles and tendons around the elbow can help relieve the discomfort of tennis elbow (Source: Healthline)
  • ✅ Over-the-counter medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can help reduce pain and inflammation (Source: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons)
  • ✅ Wearing a brace or support band to reduce the strain on the elbow can help treat tennis elbow (Source: American Physical Therapy Association)

Checkout this video:

Understanding Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, is a common condition that affects the elbow joint and can be caused by activities that involve repetitive use of the forearm. It is characterized by pain and tenderness on the outside of the elbow which can cause difficulty when trying to perform the simplest of tasks.

Learning more about tennis elbow is essential in order to treat it effectively.

What is Tennis Elbow?

Tennis elbow is a type of tendinitis that affects the lateral epicondyle of the elbow. It is a common injury incurred by athletes, especially those who play racquet sports such as tennis, badminton and squash, but can also be caused by activities like washing dishes or painting.

Symptoms include pain and swelling in the area where the forearm meets the elbow joint, as well as tenderness or weakness around that area. Tennis elbow can be very painful and can limit range of motion and grip strength.

Treating tennis elbow at home may include:

  • Rest and over-the-counter medication like NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories) to reduce inflammation.
  • Icing the affected area.
  • Stretching exercises to help improve mobility.
  • Using heat therapy for pain relief.
  • Wearing an elbow brace or wrap to help support the injured muscles to prevent further damage during regular activities.
  • In serious cases, physical therapy may also be recommended for more intensive healing and recovery from tennis elbow.

Symptoms of Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow is a painful condition caused by overuse of the muscles which help to extend the wrist. Symptoms include pain, swelling and tenderness around the outside of the elbow. The pain can worsen with certain activities such as gripping, grasping or twisting actions. It may also be felt when lifting objects or even when resting.

Common signs that may indicate tennis elbow include:

  • Pain during activity
  • Weakness in grip strength
  • Reduced range of motion in the affected arm
  • Joint stiffness

Pain can vary from mild to severe and can last for days or even weeks at a time if left untreated. It is important to rest if you experience any of these symptoms as further damage can occur if activities are continued without proper treatment.

Applying ice regularly, taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and using braces or wraps can help reduce pain and inflammation associated with this condition. Additionally, physical therapy exercises such as stretching and strengthening exercises are beneficial for improving mobility, reducing swelling and increasing overall strength in the affected arm.

Diagnosis

Tennis elbow is usually diagnosed based on the patient’s medical history and a physical examination. Your doctor may also conduct additional tests, such as imaging tests or blood tests, to rule out other possible causes. It is important to accurately diagnose tennis elbow in order to determine the best treatment plan.

Let’s look at the various symptoms and treatments:

Self-Diagnosis

Self-diagnosis of tennis elbow is possible but can be complicated and inaccurate. It is important to understand the signs and symptoms associated with tennis elbow in order to accurately self-diagnose the injury. Common signs and symptoms include pain, tenderness, and weakness in the elbow area when lifting, gripping, or grasping objects with your hand.

If you suspect that you may have tennis elbow, it is important to consult a medical professional for an accurate diagnosis. A medical professional can assess the injury further by using imaging tests such as X-rays or MRI scans to confirm the diagnosis and rule out any other possible causes of pain or discomfort in the area. Treatment will likely depend on how severe your injury is based on these imaging tests.

Professional Diagnosis

If you are suffering from Tennis Elbow, it is important to receive professional diagnosis from a medical specialist in order to properly assess your condition. A doctor can offer a variety of solutions for treatment, such as medications, rehabilitation exercises, braces and patches, or even surgery. The doctor may also refer you to a physical therapist or orthopedist who can help you get back to playing your sport as soon as possible.

Unlike other injuries that require rest and ice in the beginning stages of treatment, Tennis Elbow should be addressed with an active plan designed by an experienced professional. Professional diagnosis will help ensure that the right treatment path is chosen and that any potential complications are avoided.

Treatment Options

Tennis elbow is a common condition that causes pain and tenderness around the outside of the elbow. Fortunately, there are some things you can do at home to help treat this condition and get back to living a pain-free life. Let’s look at the different treatment options available:

  • Option 1
  • Option 2
  • Option 3

Rest and Ice

Rest and ice are the two most important treatments for reducing the pain and inflammation of tennis elbow. Resting from activities or sports that cause pain can help reduce swelling and allow your elbow tendon to heal. To reduce swelling and discomfort, put an ice pack on your elbow for 15 to 20 minutes every few hours throughout the day. Check with your doctor before using any over-the-counter medication such as ibuprofen or naproxen sodium.

It is also important to maintain a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise to keep muscles in your arm strong and flexible. Exercise can help reduce stress on your forearm tendons, decrease pain, and restore function in the affected area if done correctly:

  • Strengthen the muscles in your forearm with light weights.
  • Do stretching exercises to increase flexibility in your elbow.
  • Do low-impact exercises such as swimming or cycling.

Compression

Compression is a type of treatment for Tennis Elbow at home. An elastic bandage can be worn around the elbow joint to provide support and restrict movement. It provides compression, which reduces swelling and pain, and acts as a reminder not to overdo activities that cause pain. The bandage also helps support the muscles and tendons around the elbow joint and helps them heal correctly after an injury.

Compression therapy is usually only used for short periods of time, such as when pain is particularly bad or if an individual needs help performing specific everyday tasks. Taking breaks from using the arm throughout the day will also help reduce swelling and allow muscles to rest and recover.

Exercise

Exercises can help reduce pain and improve strength in the area affected by tennis elbow. To perform the exercises, start slowly and gradually increase the number of repetitions as your symptoms improve. Always take breaks when necessary to prevent fatigue.

Some recommended exercises include:

  • Wrist extension, which involves extending your wrist outward from a bent position and rotating your forearm.
  • Wrist flexion, which involves bending your wrist towards your body and rotating your forearm.
  • Pronation/supination, which involve turning your arm so that you’re palm is faced down (pronation) to palm is faced up (supination).
  • Wrist curls with a light dumbbell, which involves curling a light dumbbell up toward your body while keeping the elbow bent.

Additionally, performing range-of-motion exercises regularly can help to reduce stiffness in the area.

Stretching

Stretching is an important part of any routine for treating tennis elbow. With stretching, the goal is to increase the flexibility of the tissues that have become damaged around the elbow. This can help reduce pain and improve healing by reducing tension and damaging forces in the arm.

When implementing a stretching routine, focus on stretches that target any tight or stiff areas around or near the elbow. Additionally, stretches should be performed slowly and held for 30 seconds to one minute at a time. It’s important to note that some people with tennis elbow may feel discomfort when stretching these muscles, but it shouldn’t be too painful to perform the stretches. Consulting with a physical therapist before beginning any stretching program is recommended for best results.

Over-the-Counter Medication

Over-the-counter medications are often the first course of treatment for tennis elbow. Pain relievers, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, can help reduce inflammation and pain associated with tennis elbow. Topical creams and gels filled with numbing agents can also be used to provide immediate relief from the discomfort of tennis elbow.

If symptoms persist despite trying over-the-counter medications, you may need to seek medical care from a specialist. A doctor or physical therapist may recommend corticosteroid injections for sore or inflamed muscles, as well as strengthening exercises to help restore strength and flexibility to the arm and shoulder muscles affected by tennis elbow.

Prevention

Tennis elbow is a painful condition that affects many athletes. Fortunately, it can be prevented with a few simple steps:

  1. Take the time to warm up, cool down, and stretch before and after any physical activity.
  2. Build up your strength and flexibility.
  3. Use proper technique with any activity that involves repetitive arm motions.

Proper Form

Proper form is essential for preventing tennis elbow and keeping the joint healthy. When performing a tennis stroke, the wrist should remain in a neutral position—not too flexed and not too extended—to reduce stress on the elbow joint.

It’s also important to keep your elbow close to your body while playing and never allow it to extend too far away from your torso. Doing so creates extra tension throughout the forearm muscles and can cause injury. Additionally, make sure to keep your racquet grip relatively loose (as opposed to tight) when striking the ball, as this helps take some of the pressure off of the elbow joint. Finally, be sure not to overuse wrong-handed strokes, as this can lead to an imbalance in muscle strength between sides of the body that may exacerbate pain.

Proper Equipment

Having the right equipment while playing a sport such as tennis is extremely important in order to prevent and treat conditions like Tennis Elbow. When picking a racket, it is important to make sure it is the correct size for your hands and body. It is also important to choose an appropriate string tension that does not put too much strain on the arm muscles or cause muscle fatigue.

You should also wear an appropriate wrist wrap when playing which can help you grip the racket better and minimize strain on your arm muscles. Additionally, wearing elbow pads can provide extra support for Tennis Elbow by relieving pressure from the joint. Wearing proper footwear can also help prevent injury by providing adequate cushioning and support for your feet when playing sports or engaging in other physical activity.

By taking these precautions, you can reduce your risk of developing Tennis Elbow.

Regular Breaks

Regular breaks from activity are important when it comes to treating and preventing tennis elbow. This means that any activities that cause your elbow pain should be avoided or modified with breaks every 15-20 minutes. Additionally, it is important to avoid repetitive motions that put strain on the same muscles and tendons in your elbow over and over again. Make sure to switch up your activities so you don’t rely on the same motion continuously.

Workplace ergonomics can be an overlooked preventative measure for repetitive stress injuries, such as tennis elbow. By making adjustments such as positioning your monitor so that it is at eye level, or switching to a standing desk, you can help reduce strain on your body when working at a computer or desk job.

When to Seek Medical Attention

If you have tried self-treatment of tennis elbow and haven’t seen any improvement within 2-3 weeks, then it is time to seek medical attention. Your doctor can provide you with advice for effective treatment and can also suggest lifestyle modifications that could help reduce your symptoms. He/she may also provide you with physical therapy or medications to help with the pain.

Let’s take a look at the different options available for treatment:

Severe Pain

Severe pain associated with tennis elbow warrants a visit to the doctor. The pain should be evaluated as soon as possible, as it can significantly impact your ability to complete daily tasks. Furthermore, medical advice may be necessary in order to properly diagnose and treat this condition.

If you have severe pain that does not respond to home remedies, such as rest and over-the-counter medications, then a visit with a healthcare professional is recommended. Your doctor may refer you for physical therapy or inject medication directly into the affected area in order to reduce inflammation and decrease pain. In some cases, surgery might be necessary. Regardless of the recommended treatment, consulting with your doctor can help ensure that your tennis elbow is properly addressed and managed.

Loss of Strength

Loss of strength is an advanced symptom of tennis elbow and could indicate a tear in the tendon or muscle. If you experience losses in strength in your arm, wrist, or hand muscles, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. A doctor can run tests to determine the extent of the damage and create a treatment plan that’s tailored to your needs. In some cases, surgery may be necessary for complete healing.

However, depending on the severity of the issue, there are some at-home treatments you can try before seeking medical attention. RICE—which stands for rest, ice, compression and elevation—can help reduce swelling and pain while also promoting healing. You should also consider taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication like ibuprofen or aspirin to reduce inflammation and swelling around your affected area.

Inability to Perform Everyday Tasks

If you are experiencing tennis elbow, you should be aware of when to seek medical attention. Inability to perform everyday tasks is a sign that your injury may require medical help. This may include difficulty picking up objects or completing everyday tasks like putting on your shirt or brushing your teeth.

If pain persists or increases despite self-care and home remedies, it is important to see a doctor who can diagnose the condition and provide specific treatment plans tailored to your needs. Although the general rule of thumb is that if something doesn’t get better after two weeks then you should seek professional help, do not wait too long if pain persists or increases despite home remedies as this could cause additional damage.

FAQs about: Treating Tennis Elbow At Home

Q: How can I treat tennis elbow at home?

A: There are a few ways you can treat tennis elbow at home. Some of these include resting the affected arm, icing the area, taking over-the-counter pain medications, using a brace or splint for support, stretching, and strengthening exercises.

Q: How long does it take for tennis elbow to heal?

A: The amount of time it takes for tennis elbow to heal depends on the severity of the injury. Generally, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months for the pain to subside.

Q: What activities should I avoid with tennis elbow?

A: Activities that should be avoided with tennis elbow include any activities that involve repetitive motions of the elbow and wrist. This includes activities such as tennis, racquetball, weightlifting, and other sports that involve repetitive motions of the elbow and wrist.

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