Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, is a type of tendonitis caused when the muscles and tendons attached to the elbow become inflamed. Elbow pain caused by tendonitis is the result of overusing the joint. While tennis and other racquet sports are often to blame, you can develop tennis elbow from any activity that involves repeated bending and straightening your arms.
If you start noticing elbow pain, a burning sensation on the outside of your elbow, and weakened grip strength, it’s important to begin treating tennis elbow as soon as possible. First, take a break from the activities that trigger your symptoms. Then, try these at-home treatments for tennis elbow.
RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression & Elevation
The first steps of recovering from tendonitis are to reduce elbow inflammation and rest the irritated tendons and muscles. You can do this with the RICE method. First, rest your elbow by immobilizing the joint. Next, apply ice. Then, compress and elevate the joint to combat elbow inflammation.
RICE is easy to follow if you have time to lounge on the couch all day, but when you have a busy schedule, it can be tricky to follow these suggestions. Thankfully, treating tennis elbow is easy with an elbow pain relief cold wrap. This product provides precision cold compression therapy designed to help you heal from sports injuries, make it through physical therapy faster, and recover from elbow surgery more completely.
An elbow wrap comfortably stabilizes and supports an inflamed, painful elbow joint. With built-in cooling pockets, a therapeutic temperature is applied right where you need it without risking the harsh effects of ice.
To use an elbow wrap, simply wear it snugly against your skin for 20 to 25 minutes twice a day. It’s safe to wear the elbow wrap more often or increase the compression for increased cold intensity if you find that it helps with your pain.
Treat Tennis Elbow with Therapeutic Exercises
Once your elbow pain and inflammation subside, it’s safe to begin gentle exercises (with your doctor’s or therapist’s permission). These are designed to strengthen your forearm muscles and help them recover more quickly. If any of these treatments cause pain to return, back off and resume wearing your elbow wrap as recommended for a few days until the inflammation has lessened.
- Fist clench: Place a rolled-up towel or foam ball in your hand and lay your forearm on a table. Clench your fist around the towel or ball and hold for 10 seconds. Release your grip for a few seconds. Repeat this process ten times.
- Supination: Sit in a chair, rest your elbow on your knee, and place one end of a 2-pound dumbbell in your hand. Slowly rotate your palm toward the floor, letting the weight of the dumbbell help with the twisting movement. Make the motion in reverse to return to the starting position. Repeat 20 times.
- Wrist extension: Sit in a chair, rest your elbow on your knee, and grip a two-pound dumbbell with your palm facing down. Curl and uncurl your wrist, keeping your palm facing downward. Repeat ten times.
- Wrist flexion: Sit in a chair, rest your elbow on your knee, and grip a two-pound dumbbell with your palm facing up. Flex and straighten your wrist, keeping your palm facing upward. Repeat ten times.
- Towel twist: Hold a small, rolled-up towel with both hands. Twist the towel as if you were wringing out water. Alternate the direction you twist the towel for a total of 20 reps.
With an elbow wrap and therapeutic exercises for elbow inflammation, you can expect to find recovery from tennis elbow.