You don’t have to swing a racket to get tennis elbow. This injury can come from a variety of activities says the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS).
“Tennis elbow is an inflammation of the tendons that join the forearm muscles on the outside of the elbow. The forearm muscles and tendons become damaged from overuse — repeating the same motions again and again. This leads to pain and tenderness on the outside of the elbow,” says the article on this problem.
In that respect, it’s a lot like trigger finger and carpal tunnel. Overuse creates stress, which damages muscle, tendons and ligaments.
The National Health Services agency in the UK says, “Tennis elbow is a self-limiting condition, which means it will eventually get better without treatment. However, it can often last for several weeks or months, because the tendons heal slowly. In some cases, tennis elbow can persist for more than a year.”
Most people would rather get relief faster than that. So, if your doctor has diagnosed you with tennis elbow, here are some ways to treat it without shots or surgery.
COLD COMPRESS – Ice packs, frozen towels and, as the NHS, says, a “bag of frozen peas” held against your elbow a few minutes several times a day reduces swelling. And in the case of peas, gets a head start on supper!
SLOW DOWN – Stop doing the activity that causes the pain. Any kind of repetitive motion can cause tennis elbow, so you may have to think about how you bend your elbow in the course of a day.
NSAIDS – Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and ibuprofen are available over the counter. They work to reduce the inflammation. Some NSAID creams are also effective.
THERAPY – The experts Raritan Physical Therapy can show you some exercises to keep your arm in good shape without aggravating the tennis elbow. They can also show you some massage techniques to help. If needed, they can fit you for an elbow brace to take stress off the joint.
Need more help? Got questions about tennis elbow? Just Give us a call or stop by.