3 Effective Treatment Options for Tennis Elbow

May 25, 2021

3 Effective Treatment Options for Tennis ElbowEven if you’ve never played tennis before, you can experience tennis elbow! Tennis elbow is formally known as lateral epicondylitis and is a type of overuse injury that affects the elbow and tendons in your forearm. While it is common in tennis players considering its more common name, there are other causes of tennis elbow. If you experience pain on the outside of your elbow after repeated movements then you might have tennis elbow. There are multiple options for relieving your pain and treating tennis elbow, including at-home remedies and physiotherapy.

What Causes Tennis Elbow?

Repetitive motions of the arms and elbows can put too much pressure on your muscles, tendons, and joints, which can lead to pain and discomfort. There are specific forearm, elbow, and wrist movements that can cause muscle strain and tiny tears in the nearby soft tissue. One common motion that can lead to tennis elbow is if you repeatedly move your lower arm and hand in a waving motion, like a backhand swing in tennis. This type of motion is common with racquet sports and also other sports and activities that involve repetitive arm motions. Tennis elbow can also occur with repetitive movements you may do on the job, leading to a work injury. Plumbers and carpenters both utilize repetitive wrist and forearm motions that can put strain and stress and pain on the elbow.

Treating Tennis Elbow

While very mild cases of tennis elbow may go away on their own, you might keep experiencing tennis elbow if you continue to participate in certain activities and movements. The pain may come and go, but that doesn’t mean the underlying cause has been addressed. If certain movements aggravate the tendons in your forearm and lead to elbow pain then there are things you can try at home and with a physical therapist to try and address the root cause so you can experience lasting pain relief.

These are 3 effective treatment options that may help with your tennis elbow.

1. At-Home Therapy

With overuse injuries like tennis elbow, resting in between activities is what gives your muscles and tendons a break so they can recover. The first thing that you can do to help relieve your tennis elbow pain is to take a break from the activity and any other similar movements that might aggravate the area. As soon as you notice any pain, it is best to avoid those motions and rest your arms as quickly as you can. Repetitive movements and overuse are what cause the pain and aggravate the tissues, which can also lead to inflammation, swelling, and tenderness in the area. Icing your elbow and forearm can help to soothe the pain and also help the swelling go down. Ice therapy helps to temporarily slow blood flow to the area, which helps reduce inflammation. If you notice your elbow feels stiff after a good amount of rest, you may also choose to alternate with applying heat to soothe stiff, sore muscles.

2. Physiotherapy Stretches and Exercises

If your experience with tennis elbow affects your quality of life then a physical therapist can help. Physiotherapy helps you through the healing process through stretches and exercises that promote strength, mobility, and flexibility. You should be able to go about your day without dealing with severe elbow pain. A physical therapist can help you learn stretches that encourage healthy blood flow to the area so any strained muscles can start to heal. Stretches will also help encourage mobility and flexibility that may have been compromised because of pain or stiffness. Physiotherapy exercises can also help improve strength in the muscles that support your arms and elbows so they offer more stability to your elbow and wrist joints. Tennis elbow can also affect your wrist and grip strength, so a physical therapist can show you how stretches and exercises can help restore any lost range of motion and promote healthy flexibility and strength going forward.

3. Learning Better Techniques

A way to experience lasting pain relief from tennis elbow is to learn new or better ways of performing the actions that caused your pain. If you are an avid tennis player and don’t want to give up your favorite sport, then talk to a physical therapist or trainer about how to improve your technique. If your job requires repetitive movements that cause you pain, a physical therapist can also help you learn how to adjust your technique that will avoid aggravating the area.

Don’t let elbow pain keep you from the activities you enjoy. Contact AICA Snellville for complete wellness and schedule an appointment with physiotherapy so you can start experiencing lasting pain relief today.