Suffering from tennis elbow can cost you a lot of money and maybe time off your work and activities you love. There are plenty of medical solutions such as local steroide injections, shock wave therapy, inflammatory pills or even surgery. When you have tried everything to get rid of pain, medical solutions are usually employed in last resort and might not be optimal for you.
Taking inflammatory pills every 4 to 6 hours is not a long-term solution you should choose. It will cost you money and may cause stomach pain and other secondary consequences. So, go for natural solutions instead, we have worked on putting together the best tennis elbow remedies.
As you may know, there are plenty of remedies you can try at home to relieve pain and find the right remedies for you. The following remedies won’t cost you a lot of money and will help you feel better.
Some remedies listed below are even free. You don’t have to try all of them. You can pick the solution that seems the most suitable for you. Mixing methods can be good as well. There are several responses to your problem and we have tried to give you methods that have worked for others who used to suffer from tennis elbow (aka lateral epicondylitis).
The healing process takes time, from a couple of weeks to months and even years. Once you are aware of your condition, you will act differently and you will perform exercises, adopt new posture and maybe reduce the use of your arm in order to alleviate pain.
Ignoring your condition can be very harmful. Don’t try to deny. The longer you deny your suffering, the longer the recovery will be. So, keep on reading this article, I am sure you will choose the right remedy for you.
Self-treatment is not only efficient and cost-effective for you, it’s also adopting good habits like stretching and exercising your hands, wrists and arms and on top of that, eating healthy is really important.
Without further ado, let’s dive into the subject!
1- RICE Method
RICE consists of Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.
The first recommendation most healthcare professionals will give you is to get some Rest and stop repetitive movements. Resting your arm makes total sense. The inflammation of tendons prevents you from pursuing your daily activities without pain and you have no other choice than resting. But it requires a lot of time and patience. If you have tennis elbow and have to work or use your arm, take at least a break for 2 days. During week ends try to relax and try not use your arm too intensely.
You can combine rest with Ice to help control swelling. We recommend you to use ice packs. If you don’t have ice packs, you can put ice cubes in a towel and apply on your arm. The pain should go away after about 15 to 20 minutes, repeat several times per day.
Elevation is the fourth pillar of the RICE method. Raise your arm. While sitting on a couch while watching TV, place your arm on a pillow, it will reduce blood flow.
Between workouts, it’s really important that you rest. It will allow worn-down tissues to repair or at least get some relief and recovery.
RICE is probably one of the best solution out there and you can mix this method with other remedies listed below.
2- Exercises & Stretches
I know what you think. We recommend to rest and we also advise you to exercise. Therefore, staying too inactive can be harmful as well. There are good exercises you can perform at home and even at work.
Eccentric & concentric training has been proposed by Dr Ernest W. Johnson from Ohio State University in 2003. This training is also called the muscle-strengthening program. It consists of eccentric and concentric movements of the wrist extensor muscles with a maximum of 10 reps. First you need to flex your elbow to 90 degrees, then extend your elbow to 180 degrees. In details here is how you can perform the program:
- Use a 1- or 2-lb dumbbell.
- Sit on a chair next to a table.
- Bend your elbow to 90 degrees, palm up.
- Lower the weight slowly, then raise it toward the ceiling. Remember to do this exercise slowly and do 10 reps max. If it’s too painful, just stop. Don’t try to force yourself.
- After the first set, rest a few minutes.
- Lay your elbow flat on a table, palm facing the floor. Slowly lower and raise the dumbbell, do 10 reps.
- As it becomes easy with no pain, choose heavier weight, 1 to 2 lbs.
After 4 to 6 weeks, the pain should start to get better. Try to exercise every day for about 3 months. If there is no improvement after several weeks, you should consult your doctor.
Stretching your fingers, wrists, elbows and arms every day are especially recommended by physical therapists. It’s pretty easy and can be done any time throughout the day: at home or at work.
Other types of pain relief are effective and can be combined with the RICE method, exercises and stretches. Don’t stay too passive.
Have you ever heard of turmeric? It’s a plant of the ginger family mainly found in Asia and South East Asia. Curcumin is an active ingredient of turmeric. Indian medicine uses turmeric to help patients relieve from arthritis pain.
You can mix turmeric powder with milk and honey and drink a cup twice a day for 2 – 3 weeks.
Penetrex is a very popular pain relief cream that helps people dealing with inflammation related ailments and in
juries. You can use it before and after any workout. This marvellous cream can be complementary to compression elbow sleeves and elbow braces.
5- St John’s Wort
St John’s Wort is a plant containing anti-inflammatory properties. It helps with pain,
inflammation and works as an analgesic. It can either be found dried and consumed as tea or you can take St John’s Wort as a supplement.
Ginger is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties and helps reduce inflammation and pain. The easiest way to benefit from its properties is to infuse dried ginger in hot boiling water for 20 minutes and consume as it is or sweetened with honey, 3 times per day.
Boswellin is a potent natural remedy and can treat tendonitis, arthritis and conditions like tennis elbow. Boswellin is available in supplements and can be purchased in natural health stores or online. Boswellia Extract aids in the improvement of healthy joint function and mobility. It is recommended to take 1 capsule per day.
As a result, perseverance and patience are key. You won’t feel immediate relief. A combination of the the 6 best tennis elbow remedies we presented in this article such as the RICE method or performing exercises and stretches on a regular basis will greatly help you in the healing process. But if the pain persists, we advise you to consult your physician for further diagnostic and treatment.
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