May 19, 2019
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When you hear the words tennis elbow, you, understandably, think of an injury caused by playing tennis, and while the name certainly stems from its association with the sport, you can also suffer the pain of tennis elbow without ever picking up a racket.
Tennis elbow, at its core, is really just the result of tendon overuse that leads to pain and weakness in the elbow. Many people overwork their elbows during the course of their jobs, such as house painters or chefs. Any activity that requires consistent, repetitive movement of the elbow can cause tennis elbow. Tennis elbow can make it difficult to continue using your affected arm and elbow for these necessary tasks, as the movement worsens the pain.
While there is surgery for tennis elbow, luckily, most cases require only a few simple treatments to get your elbow feeling as good as new. Here are 6 ways to reduce the pain of tennis elbow:
It may sound too simple, but most cases of tennis elbow really will resolve after reduced use. If your pain came from playing a racquet sport, give your arm a rest and try out a different sport or activity until your elbow heals. If your tennis elbow resulted from an occupation, reduce the strain to your elbow as much as you realistically can.
Physical therapy can help you learn ways to reduce the strain on your elbow and help you to use your arm in ways that are healthy for your body. You can discuss the potential cause of your tennis elbow with your physical therapist, and together you can brainstorm ways to use your arm that results in less pain and can prevent or reduce cases of tennis elbow in the future. A physical therapist can also teach you healing exercises for your elbow.
Talk with your Riverside Pain physician about using a supportive device, like a sleeve, brace, splint, or strap, to help alleviate the pain of tennis elbow. These devices can sometimes be used to help prevent future cases of tennis elbow, as well, particularly when working jobs requiring unavoidable, constant elbow use.
The first-aid acronym, RICE, for rest, ice, compression, and elevation, holds true for tennis elbow. The use of ice packs can help relieve the pain and stiffness of tennis elbow. Talk with your doctor about how frequently to use ice packs for your individual case of tennis elbow. When icing your elbow, remember to always use ice that is either wrapped in a pack or wrapped in a paper towel or something similar. Due to the extreme cold, it’s never a good idea to apply ice directly to your skin.
There are certain medications that are appropriate for tennis elbow, namely anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen. However, these medications can also have side effects when taken long term or in large amounts, and they aren’t always safe for people taking certain types of other medications, such as blood thinners. This is another area where you’ll want to talk with your Riverside Pain physician about the right dose and timing of your anti-inflammatory. Be sure to tell your doctor about all other medications that you are taking. Steroid shots are also an option for tennis elbow, but they may not be right for everyone.
Sports Related? Change Up Your Routine
If you actually received your elbow injury from playing a sport like tennis, learn about how you can alter your technique or change your racket to better suit your elbow. Your physical therapist or physician can offer tips and tricks to help you continue playing the sport you love without the pain and strain of tennis elbow.
Don’t have a physician at Riverside Pain? Talk to your doctor about referring you to Riverside Pain Physicians. We have locations in Monument, Orange Park, Jax Beach, and Southside to serve your pain management needs. You can also contact us via our online form or take a closer look at our incredible team.
Tags: tennis elbow, treatments for tennis elbow