As the name suggests, tennis elbow is a term used to describe an injury that commonly occurs at the elbow. In this type of elbow injury, the tendons that are a point of contact between the elbow and forearm are damaged. The injury is typically marked by inflammation and acute pain on the outer portion of the elbow, that severely restricts arm movement. Repetitive motion of the arm that puts undue stress on the elbow is responsible for causing this injury.
The doctor will first ascertain the severity of the injury and then decide the course of treatment. In any case, taking rest is crucial to speed up healing of this injury. It is discussed below:
Giving rest to the injured tissues as much as possible can speed up healing, and the patient may not even need medications to recover from the injury. People suffering from tennis elbow need to avoid tasks that put strain on the joint. Lifting heavy objects can aggravate the pain and lead to further complications.
Ice therapy can also work to heal pain associated with damaged tendons. A frequent ice massage, lasting 10 - 15 minutes at a time is recommended to relieve discomfort.
Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs
This non-surgical treatment that is available in the form of tablets and creams can also assist to relieve tennis elbow pain. Although, oral tablets may cause mild stomach irritation, they are useful to ease the discomfort. However, if the patient experiences severe gastrointestinal side effects, these oral medications must be discontinued immediately.
In case, icing the affected portion or pain medications fail to provide relief, then the doctors may administer corticosteroid injections to reduce inflammation of the damaged tendons.
One can take the help of a physical therapist to know the exercises that can help to heal and strengthen the damaged tendons. However, these stretching exercises should be performed, only when the pain has reduced significantly. Make sure you inform your doctor before starting any elbow tendonitis exercises. In case the pain aggravates while doing exercises, the activity should be discontinued immediately.
Wearing a brace or a strap provides support to the damaged tissues as well as accelerates the healing process. It is recommended to immobilize the elbow to provide complete rest.These braces protect the elbow from further damage.
This is the last resort to treat this condition and is rarely prescribed. This is because conservative methods of treatment generally work to heal the problem. Before surgery, the doctor may also ask the patient to undergo laser light therapy and wave therapy to alleviate the pain. Surgical procedure involves removing the inflamed tissue of the tendon.
Turmeric displays anti-inflammatory properties, and so can be helpful to treat this elbow injury. Apply turmeric poultice on the affected area daily and you will soon notice visible improvement in your elbow movement.
Ginger is full of anti-inflammatory compounds. Hence, taking this herb in the form of tea or applying it as a poultice can work wonders to get relief from this elbow injury. Another treatment option is to take fresh ginger root (handful) and put it in hot water. Let it steep for 10 - 15 minutes and then dip a clean towel into the solution. Now apply it on the affected portion to get relief.
A paste made from milk and fenugreek seeds applied generously over the injured portion is also recommended, as fenugreek also shows anti-inflammatory activity.
Taking glucosamine supplements can also benefit to repair damaged cartilage and tissues. Apart from regenerating the cartilage, the supplement also helps to alleviate joint pain.
Following a healthy diet is necessary to facilitate healing of this elbow injury. Including vitamin C rich foods is critical as it promotes cellular growth, which help to repair the injury in less amount of time. One should also eat vitamin A rich foods as the nutrient is required for the production of collagen (a protein found in the tendon and other connective tissues), which assists to repair the damaged tissues. Foods high in vitamin E and zinc also need to be included in the diet as they kill free radicals that arise due to swelling of tissues as well as decrease the inflammation.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.