5 Ways To Reduce Your Tennis Elbow Pain Today
You might have heard of pain in the outside of the elbow referred to as ‘tennis elbow’ or more formally, ‘lateral epicondylalgia’.
Tennis Elbow is a condition which affects the outside of the elbow and can be caused by strenuous overuse of the muscles and tendons in the forearm.
Where Do People With Tennis Elbow Feel Pain?
Patients with tennis elbow often complain of feeling pain when bending their arm, gripping a pen or other small objects, twisting the arm (such as turning a key in the door or opening a jar) and difficulty straightening their arm fully. Every patient can be affected differently and pain can range from mild discomfort to severe pain even when resting,
How Long Will Tennis Elbow Last?
Tennis elbow may last anywhere between 6 months and 2 years, with a majority of people making a full recovery within 12 months.
Patients often ask how tennis elbow occurs and do not recall a specific knock or ‘injury’ to the elbow itself, and it can be particularly confusing if they don’t play tennis, as the name suggests!
Whilst tennis elbow is sometimes caused by playing tennis and other racquet sports, there are many other repetitive activities that can place stress on the joint, such as decorating, gardening and typing.
Any activity that may involve repeatedly bending the elbow, twisting the wrist or using mainly forearm muscles increases the risk of strained muscles and tendons in this area.
What Can We Do Ourselves To Reduce Pain Today?
Here are 5 ways you can help yourself at home;
- Identify and stop the aggravating activity. If you know that you have been performing an activity that might have prompted the pain, such as decorating a room or using your computer more, give yourself a break from said activity or break it down into shorter periods to give your muscles a chance to rest.
- Give your arm time to recover properly between bouts of activity. Due to the degeneration of the tendon and disorganisation of the matrix it is important that we load the tendon and muscle unit gentle to help recondition it.
- Applying a cold compress to the affected area for a few minutes several times throughout the day can help to reduce pain. Take care to protect the skin from ice burn by wrapping your bag of ice or frozen peas in a tea towel first! Never apply ice directly to the skin.
- Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatories. Or NSAIDs as they’re sometimes referred to. These are anti-inflammatory medicines that do not contain steroids and are available over the counter and in your local supermarket. Ibuprofen is a commonly used NSAID. Although we know tennis elbow is not predominantly driven by increased inflammation recent evidence shows that it may be effective due to its influence on the proteoglycans within the effected tendon. Always seek medical advice from your GP before taking new medications.
- Call or message us for further free advice or book an appointment to see a physiotherapist today! Did you know the Physio Crew are open evening and weekends to fit around your schedule?
The Physio Crew