Tennis elbow is a problem for some people. It refers to the inflammation of the elbow tendons due to forearm muscles overuse. Since inflammation is a presenting symptom, the condition gives discomfort to the affected person or people. The following are the causes, signs and symptoms, and home remedies for tennis elbow.
Tennis elbow is mainly caused by muscle overuse. According to Web MD, it results from muscle strain around the elbow. As per the publication, a poor technique or racquet grip also leads to the condition, since the tendons that connect the forearm muscles to the elbow experience stress and some small tears. Along with tennis, tennis elbow may be gotten from sports like racquetball and squash, as well as activities that involve repetitive arm movement like painting, carpentry, tree-cutting, and musical instrument playing. People who are at high risk of developing tennis elbow include cooks, butchers, and assembly-line workers.
Signs and Symptoms
Tennis elbow presents pain as the main symptoms. According to Mayo Clinic, it may radiate from the external part of the elbow into the person’s forearm and wrist. With accompanying weakness, the condition makes it hard for the person to grip an object, shake hands, turn a doorknob, and hold a coffee cup. As per the publication, medical assistance may be needed if self-management measures like rest, the use of ice, and over-the-counter pain medication intake do not alleviate elbow pain and tenderness.
Tennis elbow is usually managed through over-the-counter pain medications. In line with the management of the condition, some remedies can also be done at home.
Ice and Heat Application
One remedy for tennis elbow is ice. According to Web MD, cold application, such as ice and cold packs counters pain. They can be used for ten to 15 minutes at time for several times daily. As per the publication, a thin cloth is placed between the ice and the skin and it is used as long as it manages the pain. Heat application may follow the use of ice; the person may use a warm and moist cloth or hot baths if they feel good.
Ice application is part of the RICE method, one of the management measures for musculoskeletal problems like sprain and strain. According to Dr. Axe’s official website, RICE stands for rest, immobilization, compression, and elevation. Following the application of ice, the area is immobilized and compressed with a brace splint, or bandage. Then, the extremity is elevated to reduce inflammation.
Tennis Elbow Exercises and Stretches
Another remedy for tennis elbow are some exercise and stretches. According to Ohio State University American physiatrist Dr. Ernest W. Johnson, as cited by Dr. Axe’s official website, eccentric and concentric motions of the wrist help relieve pain by halting dense collagenous scar generation in the attachment area between the tendon and the elbow muscle. As per the publication, the exercises include tricep stretch, ball squeeze hand-strengthener, forearm extensor stretch, and eccentric wrist stretch. A case is point is the latter, where the person rests his forearm down on a table with his wrist hanging off the edge, with the palm up. Then, the person holds a very light weight of five pounds or less in his hand and drop and lifts his wrist gradually. The exercise is done with repetitions for three times every other day.
Tennis elbow refers to the swelling of the tendons of the elbow caused by forearm muscle overuse and it causes pain and disruption of the person’s activities of daily living. In this regard, it is best to seek medical consult for unsure treatment and to provide adequate assessment, planning, intervention, education, and evaluation.