How to Effectively Treat Tennis Elbow

How to Effectively Treat Tennis Elbow

Whether you're an avid fan of the sport or not, the chances are that you've experienced elbow pain at some point. Elbow pain is often caused by overusing your hand and forearm muscles, leading to tightness and restricted movement. 

What goes wrong with tennis elbow?

Overuse of the extension muscles can cause little tears within the tendon (see "Anatomy of tennis elbow") that cause tenderness, inflammation, and pain.

Research has shown that low-grade chronic inflammation can become an invisible killer that contributes to the development of cancer, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and many other ailments. Find simple strategies to combat inflammation and maintain your health.

Tendons are parallel strands of collagen lined up in side-by-side bundles. When tears or strains disrupt the arrangement, the body reacts with fibroblasts and other substances to create scar tissue that helps shore the region. However, repeated injury hinders that scar tissue from strengthening properly and leaves it fragile and painful.

Symptoms of tennis elbow:

  • Pain on the outside of the elbow
  • Weakness in the grip
  • Difficulty with forearm strength, such as turning doorknobs or shaking hands.

How to Effectively Treat Tennis Elbow

It's crucial to take proactive measures to prevent the onset of tennis elbow and minimize its impact on your daily life. This includes regularly stretching your forearm muscles, being mindful of your wrist and hand positioning while at work, and exploring effective treatment options for tennis elbow.

If you're seeking advice on this, don't worry - we've got some excellent recommendations to share with you!

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy can be done inside or outside the hospital, depending on your recovering injuries. Working with a physical therapist is a great way to expedite your recovery from tennis elbow. You'll work with your therapist to develop a personalized plan that addresses specific problems related to your arm's health and performance, such as muscle tightness, injury, or stress.

Plus, you'll get educated about prevention strategies for future instances and how to improve strength and flexibility so as not to experience pain or soreness every time you make a simple movement, like grasping an object!

Massage for Tennis Elbow

If you are training and experience elbow pain, it is better to stop training your elbows until the pain subsides immediately. This is because two superficial tendons are attached to the undersurface of the elbow that could be inflamed:The lateral head of the triceps muscle near the bony protrusion of your medial epicondyle and a small muscle running under the forearm bone on top (the brachialis).

You may have overused these muscles and caused inflammation, which is aggravated by physical activity or prolonged use. You can make an appointment with a massage therapist, who will most likely treat you to some massage or apply a cross-friction massage to soothe this delicate area. If that does not work, seek medical attention from a sports doctor or neurologist, as both can help you recover from these injuries faster.

Tennis Elbow Stretches

A healthy shoulder and elbow mobility is important. Whether you choose to practice on your own or with the guidance of a professional, the idea behind this process remains in focus--to address stiff, restricted areas with stretching. It will help restore elbow mobility, promote blood flow for healing affected forearm muscles, and decrease overall pain.


You will likely be able to repair your injury over time. Strengthening exercises are important because they can help speed up the recovery process. You must start with simple movements and coordinate these movements with low resistance levels as soon as possible. Expect to progress slowly at a time - remember that you're breaking muscles down for them to rebuild and become stronger!


Traditional acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment for restoring balance and relieving pain, which can be done by inserting needles in specific areas. It can also help speed up healing and improve overall health when combined with other traditional remedies, such as cupping.

Home Remedies

When you suffer from tennis elbow, the last thing you want to do is make a trip to the hospital. That's why seeking relief at home is so much more convenient. You can start this immediately because it requires no wait time to see your doctor or physical therapist and can start providing relief almost instantly or within a few days. Here's a quick overview of your home options for immediate relief once diagnosed.

  • Use of a Microwavable heating pad
  • Resting the affected area for several days to weeks to allow for healing
  • Anti-inflammatory medications to reduce swelling or pain
  • Self-administered massage
  • Home exercises, such as stretching and strengthening
  • Activity modification to prevent aggravation of symptoms
  • Use of a brace, tape, or splint with aggravating activities
  • Use of a cold pack or ice massage

Pain Management

Pain is one of the main reasons people go for treatment for their tennis elbow. The pain comes and goes but is almost always in the background. Initially, when the pain first starts, you'll want to take care of it with some quick short-term relief from modalities, which are as follows:

Heat and Cold Therapy

A heat and cold pack is a great way to soothe aching muscles. Since tennis elbow can be pretty painful, Heat and Cold for tennis elbow are usually enough to provide some relief from this slow-to-develop injury.

Our Top Pick
Double sided hot and cold therapy pad

    SACKSY THYME Heat and Cold Therapy Pack for Tennis Elbow:

    This versatile pack provides both heat and cold therapy options, allowing users to choose the treatment that works best for them. When heated, the pack helps to increase blood flow and relax muscles, providing much-needed relief. Alternatively, when used cold, it reduces inflammation, numbs the pain, and reduces swelling.

    A cold pack outside the elbow will reduce swelling, which should help relieve pain, thanks to reduced pressure from enlarging tissues. On the other hand, heat can increase blood flow and allow muscle tissue to release tension simultaneously!

    Use Essential Oils

    You can also apply certain essential oils as topicals to the elbow. Usually, this involves diluting several drops of the essential oil on a heating pad, or you can also use a Sacksythyme lavender hot therapy relief heating pad.

    9.4/10 Our Score

    SACKSY THYME Hot Therapy relief Microwavable Lavender Heating Pad:

    Sacksy Thyme's Hot Therapy Relief Pad is the perfect balance of moist heat and comfort. This microwavable flaxseed heating pad is perfect pad for Tennis Elbow, cramps, muscle aches, arthritis, and use it as a hot pack for your back or neck, or relief from migraine or sinus congestion.

    For best results, always follow package instructions. Ideal oils to treat tennis elbow include peppermint, lemongrass, lavender, and Eucalyptus essential oils.

    TENS Unit

    If you're experiencing pain in your elbow, using a TENS treatment might be a good idea. The electric signal helps break up the pain signals from your arm to your brain. When employing this gadget, it is essential to ensure that you properly activate the electrodes so as not to hurt yourself further by setting them off unexpectedly.

    Talk to your surgeon, a physical therapist, or a specialist about how you should set up the electrodes for maximal relief!

    Over-the-Counter Pain Medication

    If you are experiencing chronic pain or inflammation related to using your arm, please consider taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug or NSAID. Ibuprofen can be good short-term relief and is easy to come by. However, avoid any products that may cause side effects related to organ damage, particularly the liver and kidneys. It's best to consult your doctor immediately before things get out of hand!

    Joint Support

    Sometimes, you need to go beyond the medications.

    You see, among other things, elbow joint injuries can be aggravated by performing large repetitive movements regularly, and this is where external assistance comes in. We are discussing using braces, tape, or splints to decrease strain and promote better mechanics with regular activities.

    Elbow Taping

    You've got the part where you throw a ball and catch it, but what about when you start moving it in all directions? People often overuse their arms, potentially aggravate elbow injuries, and develop weak immune systems. That's why taping the elbow is so beneficial. It helps keep your elbow movable while protecting it from any symptoms that may lead to further illness!


    Elbow bands are used for various ailments, including tennis elbow pain and inflammation in the forearm at the elbow joint. Some are thin and wrapped around the wrist like a bandage with no padding. Others, however, provide more support with padded straps and even neoprene-like materials to absorb built-up tension or pressure.

    The advantage of these products is that they provide constant pain relief versus supports worn just when you feel discomfort – giving your muscles time to breathe after a long day. Suppose you have tendonitis or other types of tendon injuries. Talking to your doctor may reveal options beyond simple elbow bands, especially if you have underlying arthritis or diabetes.


    Splints are used to restrict motion in a joint, but only if that motion is causing pain. Therefore, these bandages are usually only recommended for injuries and trauma to the elbow. However, your doctor might also recommend wearing one if you have other problems and complications like nerve damage or a fracture. Your orthopedic surgeon will tell you which one is right for you.

    Safe and Effective Treatment for Tennis Elbow

    If you experience severe pain, tingling in your arms, or other symptoms concerning your condition, don't be afraid to bring them to your doctor's attention. An X-ray or MRI may be ordered if a doctor believes an obstruction is to blame, as it can otherwise further hinder your overall recovery once it goes undiagnosed for too long.

    Prevention of tennis elbow:

    There are a number of things you can do to prevent tennis elbow, including:

    • Warm up before exercise: Warm up your forearm muscles before engaging in repetitive activities.
    • Use proper technique: Make sure you use proper technique when playing racquet sports or performing other activities involving the wrist and hand.
    • Strengthen your forearm muscles: Strengthening your forearm muscles can help to prevent injuries.
    • Avoid overuse: Avoid activities that cause pain or discomfort.

    When to see a doctor:

    See a doctor if you have pain in your elbow that does not improve with home treatment or is severe enough to interfere with your daily activities. They can diagnose the cause of your pain and recommend appropriate treatment.

    A Word from SACKSY THYME:

    Tennis elbow responds well to nonsurgical treatment in most cases. It can include things like ultrasound or other therapy modalities, but we typically have exceptional results with physical therapy. 

    Often, the process will be more successful and less abbreviated if the patient is willing to follow through on rehab exercises provided by their physical therapist and continue doing so at home as instructed.

    Tennis elbow is typically self-limiting, which means that although you may want to hurry up your recovery and resume activities as soon as possible, it's important that you give your body time to heal!

    "This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. Always consult your physician to determine a treatment plan that is right for you."

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