Tennis elbow, which is also known as lateral epicondylitis, occurs when the tendons located in the elbow are overworked. This is usually the result of performing repetitive motions that affect the arm and wrist. It’s sort of a misnomer because it often has nothing to do with tennis. Let’s review six different ways to relieve pain associated with tennis elbow.
1. Taking Prescription Pain Medication
You probably are not surprised to learn that pain medication is often prescribed to deal with tennis elbow pain. This is because the pain is sometimes excruciating and prevents the patient from performing daily tasks. Either an analgesic or a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) will be prescribed.
2. Wearing a Splint
A splint can be used for the purpose of applying pressure to the muscle where the injury has occurred. The reason why this is effective is because it shifts the tension from where the pain is located. A splint is often worn by athletes to prevent further injury.
3. Using Ice or Heat Packs
Sometimes easing the pain of tennis elbow only requires the use of either an ice pack or heat pack. It can be applied to your elbow for up to 15 minutes throughout the day. This is something that would need to be continued until the pain resides.
There’s a good chance that a physiotherapist can provide you with the range of motion exercises that can reduce the severity of pain felt from tennis elbow. These exercises are also designed to help you improve flexibility. Physiotherapy may involve weights to strengthen your elbow.
Patients desiring natural options for dealing with pain caused by tennis elbow may consider acupuncture as an alternative. Some patients find this solution beneficial in addressing issues of pain and flexibility. If you have a fear of needles, you probably shouldn’t opt for acupuncture.
6. Simple Wrist and Elbow Exercises
There are a variety of wrist exercises that can be used to both manage pain from tennis elbow and eliminate the condition. A simple wrist turn exercise involves facing your palm up and slowly rotating it to a downward facing position. The elbow portion of the exercise requires you to hold your arm in a prone position and slowly bend it upwards. Your arm should be held in the upwards position for about 20 to 30 seconds and the exercise should be repeated 5 to 10 times.
If you are experiencing tennis elbow pain, you should definitely consult with your doctor to make sure the proper plan of care is prescribed. Sometimes there are special circumstances and conditions that warrant a different protocol. Regardless of what’s recommended, you’ll need to be patient and cautious with your elbow.