Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) is a painful condition that affects the tendons outside your upper arms. This pain usually occurs because people use the affected arm to carry out difficult or repetitive movements, such as lifting heavy weights, repeatedly hitting a tennis ball, or loading groceries into their car.
Tennis elbow is caused by the excessive use of the tendons around elbow joints and the forearms. While many tennis players develop the condition due to overexertion, the muscles of their forearms and tennis elbow can happen to anyone of any age. Even cutting and writing meat and vegetables can cause discomfort and pain for the individual. In the article below, we will discuss the signs and causes of tennis elbow and the remedies at home one could try to alleviate the discomfort. Read on to learn more!
What Is Tennis Elbow?
The medical term for tennis elbow is by the name of lateral epicondylitis. The condition is usually caused when the elbow tendons are overloaded and stressed by the repetitive wrist and arm movements.
The discomfort associated with tennis elbow is usually felt in the forearm tendons connected by the bony bump outside your elbow. However, the pain could also be felt in the wrist and forearm.
Other indications related to tennis elbow have been described below.
- Difficulty in shaking hands or grasping an object.
- Ache in the outer elbow.
- The pain could turn to chronic pain when untreated.
The most common reason for the condition is an injury that occurs through overuse of the tendons and muscles in your elbow. However, several other elements and professions could increase the risk of developing tennis elbow. Some of these are described below.
What are the symptoms of tennis elbow?
- Tenderness or pain in the elbow region
- Redness, swelling, and irritation of the elbow
- Sharp pains that extend into the forearm
- Limitation of movement range
- Problems moving your wrist or turning your forearm?
- Loss of grip and difficulty picking up things.
What Causes Tennis Elbow?
The most frequent arm movements known to cause tennis elbow include:
- Utilization of plumbing tools
- Driving screws
- Cutting food items smaller, particularly meat
- Repeated use of the computer mouse.
Some risk factors could increase the likelihood of developing tennis elbow. These are:
- Age: People between 30 and 50 old have the highest chance of developing tennis elbow.
- Work: Those who perform occupations that demand repetitive movements of wrists and hands, such as carpenters, plumbers, painters, cooks, etc. They are at greater risk of developing this illness.
- Certain sports: Playing too many racket sports may also result in tennis elbow.
If you've been diagnosed with this condition, don't worry. Tennis elbow is a common condition that can be cured by following these simple remedies:
The tried and true method that we have put together is perfect for the starting point in addressing elbow pain. While any of these options will provide some relief, combining them can maximize results and reduce symptoms at an accelerated rate!
Some elbow injuries can be so severe that it prevents you from doing even the most basic activities, like eating, writing, or using the phone. But don't despair; help is at hand! First, it's important to find ways of resting that don't put too much strain on the affected tissue; rest is crucial for helping your body to start getting repaired while avoiding aggravating activities that may harm your elbow any further. There are several types of rest positions, including a brace which is ideal as it helps prevent further damage by maintaining a neutral position.
Swelling and pain inside your elbow can make it hard for you to move your arm. Applying a cold therapy pack to the outside of the elbow is a quick way to manage pain and reduce swelling. The area will numb for about 15-20 minutes every few hours throughout the day for maximal relief.
If you suffer from tennis elbow or want preventative measures against this painful ailment, adding compression wraps to the affected area can soothe pain and swelling. The pressure is temporary, but it provides relief while pushing out extra fluid that builds up within your elbow.
Keeping your hands and arms elevated above the heart will promote blood flow which helps with fast healing from swelling and pain.
Heat and Cold Therapy
If you've been suffering from elbow pain lately, try alternating heat and cold therapy on your elbow. A Cold therapy pack or a Microwaveable heating pad is an excellent way to relieve your pain, promote relaxation, and better circulation in your elbow joints too! Consider alternating the two options two to three times throughout your day.
When you sustain an injury for the first time, finding the right treatment to help you recover can be difficult because there isn't necessarily a one-size-fits-all approach. Some people use over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen or Aleve as they sometimes provide pain and swelling reduction. However, prolonged use of this medication can cause organ damage, so make sure that you stay within the recommended dose without consulting a doctor.
When you're injured, having the proper exercises to follow can significantly impact your recovery rate. Initially, your movements are limited to those that increase blood flow and help you keep in shape when you return to activity. It's important to start with simple movements, like taking a few laps around your neighborhood or doing some basic household chores, before progressing to more coordinated ones that help manage pain and encourage flexibility and strength. Non-athletic injuries will require different exercises than athletic ones. Still, in almost all cases, it's best to speak with an athletic trainer so they can help you put together the best plan possible!
Essential Oils for Tennis Elbow Discomfort Relief
Essential oils are the essence of plants extracted from certain herbs using steam distillation or other mechanical processes.
They contain highly concentrated plant-based versions of properties and can be used for mental, physical, emotional, and energetic healing.
Remember that tendonitis is an obscure term when you feel a thump in your elbow and forearm when you try to hold something or apply pressure.
While a heat or cold pad may help start you on the road to recovery, I can only describe how beneficial the information below will be!
Below are three easy ways to locate essential oils that can assist:
1. Peppermint Oil
Peppermint essential oil can help reduce the inflammation and soreness associated with tennis elbow.
When you have tennis elbow, no bones are broken, and no muscles are sore; the tendon that runs along the elbow's outside can be very angry. Peppermint oil assists in cooling those tissue that is angry, which makes them feel better.
Lavender oil is a mild tranquilizer that affects the neurotransmitter GABA which helps relax nerves. When applied to the tendonitis in the elbow area, it assists in relieving joint pain immediately instead of secondarily through inflammation.
A Sacksythyme's Hot therapy lavender heating pad is also useful in relieving the pain of tennis elbow.
Eucalyptus essential oil provides cooling properties similar to peppermint. It aids in relieving stiff joints such as chronically inflamed elbows. Have you ever tried any Icey Hot style ointment? Eucalyptus is a natural and chemical-free method to create the same impact.
Different types of elbow braces can assist in numerous ways. Therefore, it is important to consider the different types and their uses. For example, a compression sleeve provides little support while, at the same time, it can protect your injured arm by lessening any swelling and causing you to reduce the pressure placed on that arm. On the other hand, an elbow brace could provide more support and aid in helping one's recovery by reducing stress or strain placed on the arm.
One can wear these braces long-term, but ideally, you should be able to return to daily activities without them following proper recovery. Another popular option is elbow taping which offers similar benefits.
Self-administered massage is a quick and easy way to expedite recovery in as little as ten minutes. The simplest way to get the blood flowing again and ease any sore and tense muscles is by utilizing something you already have - your hands! Rub on tired, stiff, and sore areas with the palm of your opposite hands, such as your forearm, elbow, or even calf muscle. Another effective solution is using a massage tool such as a rollerball, which works well for those hard-to-reach areas like under-the-shoulder blades or lower back.
Ultimately, remember that these simple tips may not completely heal whatever ails you in one sitting, but giving yourself an extra boost will greatly speed up the treatment progress!
When to See a Specialist
Self-care can be very helpful in getting you back to the basics. However, while self-care is beneficial in many ways, sometimes it's not enough. Consult a sports medicine doctor or physical therapist about more conservative treatments if these symptoms persist for two weeks or more.
- Pain, lack of mobility, and other symptoms affect your quality of life and ability to participate in your daily activities.
- If at night there's moderate to severe elbow or arm pain and other symptoms like trouble sleeping
- Chronic issues that continue to linger or flare up without notice.
- The onset of tingling, burning, or numbness in the affected arm.
- Rapid decrease in strength of the upper arm, wrist, hand, and forearm.
A Word from Sacksythyme
Home remedies for tennis elbow are simple, cost-effective, and can be integrated into your life easier – and even if you think it's too late to start them now, they will most likely help immensely with the healing process. Find the options that work best for you and be consistent with them. The chances are good that a combination of treatments works best for your elbow at this time, no matter what your symptoms are.
Suppose you feel like something isn't right during certain treatment. In that case, paying attention to your body is important so that when you see results or sensations start improving or go away completely, you know exactly where to go next to get even better fast!