As you may know, you don’t have to play tennis to suffer from the ailment commonly known as tennis elbow. It generally affects people who overuse their arm as it results in small tears in the tendon. If you do happen to contract tennis elbow there are several rehabilitation procedures you can do to help relieve the pain and inflammation. Just remember, not everybody reacts the same to rehabilitation methods so it’s a good idea to try a combination of treatments if necessary.
Rest your arm
This is probably the simplest piece advice you’ll receive concerning tennis elbow. If you’re suffering from it, then make sure you rest your arm. If you got tennis elbow from playing tennis then you’ll need to put your racquet away until it’s healed.
If you feel tennis elbow coming on you should use cold therapy to take away the pain. To do this you just need to wrap an ice pack in a wet towel and apply it to the affected area for up to 15 minutes at a time, several times a day. Don’t place ice on your skin as it could burn it. You’ll also be able to find other types of cold therapy treatments at your local drug store.
Tennis elbow can also be treated with electrotherapy, such as ultrasound or lasers. The effectiveness of this method will depend on the frequency and intensity of treatments.
Wear a brace
Another option is to wear a tennis-elbow brace or support. This will help to prevent aggravating the injury. A brace is effective since it can reduce the strain on your arm by changing the direction of the forces through your tendon. You can also support your elbow by wearing a heat retainer for support as this will aid the healing process by stimulating the elbow’s blood flow.
Non Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs
Medications such as Ibuprofen, naproxen and aspirin often help to reduce inflammation and pain, especially during the early stages of an injury. But before taking any type of drugs or applying creams you should always check with a physician first.
You shouldn’t try to rehabilitate your elbow until all the pain has gone. It’s recommended that you try rehab exercises before opting for more drastic cures such as injections or surgery. You may want to visit a licensed medical professional to find out what specific exercises you should be engaging in to help your condition. Take it easy at first when performing stretching exercises and remember that if you perform them on a regular basis it may keep tennis elbow at bay. ion process and after. During the early exercise period you should you’re your stretches for 10 to 15 seconds. When your elbow starts to feel better you can then hold them for as long as 40 seconds. Stretching at least three times a day will help speed up the process. If you feel any pain when stretching, you should stop and give your arm a couple of day’s rest before trying again. If you’re pain-free you can then move on to strengthening exercises. You can begin this process with wrist strengthening and then gradually move on t concentric and eccentric exercises. It’s a good idea to strengthen your arm before resuming with your normal activities and you should apply cold therapy following the exercises to help control inflammation and pain.
If your elbow still bothers you after two months of exercising you may want to try massage therapy. Physiotherapy can be used after the injury’s acute stage. A therapist will typically use cross-friction techniques on your tendon to help it heal. You can also have your forearm muscles massaged as it will relax them and may help release any tightness which is resulting in elbow strain. Cold therapy is also recommended after massage therapy.
If nothing seems to be working for you and you still suffer from severe tennis elbow for over a year you may want to ask a physician about a possible surgical procedure. The exact type of operation used will depend on the surgeon, but the most common method is to cut the degenerated or diseased tissue away.
Some people treat their tennis elbow with corticosteroid injections, but studies have shown that this may be just a temporary solution. Some medical professionals believe injections can actually delay the recovery process and can also increase the chance of the injury reoccurring.
Another treatment is nitric oxide donor therapy. This takes place when glycerol trinitrate is applied to patches and then placed on the affected area. However, some people suffer side effects such as headaches and/or skin rash.
Botox injections can be used as a short-term cure as well as Autologous blood injections. With the blood injections, the affected area is injected with blood that has been centrifuged to concentrate the platelets in the blood. This can help reduce inflammation and speed up the healing process.
Return to normal activity
Once your tennis elbow has healed you should return to your normal activities gradually rather than rush into them. Make sure your elbow is pain-free and strong enough to resume your usual routine. If the problem was caused by playing tennis you should consider wearing a brace and check with a coach to make sure your using the correct technique when playing. You should also continue to perform the stretching and strengthening exercises.
If you have questions about treating tennis elbow, you can contact us here for a free consultation. Be sure to consult a medical professional before undergoing any treatment plans.