How to Get Rid of Your Tennis Elbow Symptoms
The symptoms can be different in each person and greatly vary in severeness. It is thought that almost half of all table tennis players will at one point in their life get to deal with this abnormality, but tennis players form only around 5% of all tennis elbow sufferers.
It still isn’t totally clear what exactly causes the symptoms and opinions are divided. Some say it is due to frequent wear and tear of the joints, others believe it is due to muscles in the wrist or because of a blow to the elbow.
Good news though is that there are good ways to control the symptoms so that you can experience a reduction in pain level.
What is Tennis Elbow Symptoms:
- Pain at the outside of your elbow that occasionally extends into your forearm and wrist.
- Weakness in the forearm.
- Pain when extending your wrist.
- Pain during specific activities like turning a doorknob or shaking hands.
- Pain that gets worse over weeks or months.
- The inability to hold or lift small objects.
What to Do On These Symptoms
When you start noticing tennis elbow symptoms you should stop doing the activity that flares up your pain immediately and try to give your elbow some rest. You could apply ice packs in order to cool down the inflammation and relieve some of the pain or take an OTC painkiller or apply cooling gels to the painful area.
A more effective way to deal with the pain that will give you almost immediate relief and longer term results are a few specific exercises you can do in the comfort of your home.
These exercises focus not only on what triggers the symptoms but will also add mobility and strength, thus ensuring the symptoms won’t return.
When to Go See a Doctor?
You should really go see a doctor when your tennis elbow symptoms:
- Continue for a prolonged period
- If your elbow it inflamed and hot
- When you have a fever
- If your elbow does not look right from the outside
Kill the Pain or Cure the Cause?
When we are looking to take away the symptoms there are basically two paths we can take. Either treating the symptoms by taking away the pain OR treating the underlying cause of the pain with therapy and more natural approaches.
So which of these two paths should you choose?
Don’t get me wrong, I am the last person to tell you not to grab painkillers if you are in pain, however I do think you should consider going for the therapy options, seeing that that way you can actually not only cure your tennis elbow symptoms but possibly also prevent them from returning.
Also consider the side effects both paths have, painkillers, steroid injections etc can have quite severe side effects while therapy does not have any side effect but to make you more mobile and pain free long term.
Are You Suffering From Tennis Elbow Pain?
Having suffered from such pain myself I know first hand just how bothersome this nagging pain is. When I started experiencing this pain my first reaction was to find a way to get rid of the pain instantly.
I did not really care about finding a real solution, as long as the pain was gone.
Having to take painkillers however was not very high on my list so once the pain was gone I did decide to look around for ways to reduce tennis elbow pain without medication and it´s side-effects and I ran into several solutions people were giving me, some were good, some did nothing for me. Read on to find out what finally helped me get rid of my pain.
Immediate Pain Relief
Instead of taking pain killers and waiting for the effect to kick in, there are times that you just need IMMEDIATE pain relief! Penetrex can be applied directly on the painful area and after massaging it in, will offer fast pain relief and anti-inflammatory aid.
Ways to End the Pain
There are several ways to reduce or end tennis elbow pain. When you first start having these pains, the best thing to do is to stop the activity that causes the pain and try to avoid any movements that are painful to you. Yes, this means resting your elbow, forearm and wrist to ensure you are not aggravating the condition.
Another way to reduce the pain is applying an ice-pack to the area that hurts most. This is something you can do several times a day, making sure not to apply the ice-pack directly to the bare skin. Commercial ice-packs will come with specific instructions on how to apply the pack and the maximum amount of time you can apply it. If you don´t have a commercial ice-pack, a bag of frozen pies will do just fine.
If the above methods don´t work to end your pain, your next step will be taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Ibuprofen is probably the most known NSAID.
If that still does not work, your doctor will consider injecting cortisone-type medication directly into the sore area which will do the trick in most severe cases, although it must be noted that some injuries are considered so severe and consistent that only an operation will really help.
Fortunately almost all cases of pain can be solved without such and invasive treatment, as long as you take the appropriate action when your tennis elbow is first starting to develop.
Ending Tennis Elbow Pain Through Specific Exercises
There are several exercises you can do in the comfort of your own home that will reduce the symptoms and even end your pain.
If you feel uncomfortable with taking NSAIDs or if your condition keeps coming back I would recommend you checking out the exercises that have helped me cure my tennis elbow.
I sure am glad that I no longer need to take medication and that I have finally found the way to control my tennis elbow myself. It has made me a lot more confident, knowing that I cured my condition and even if it ever pops up again, I can take immediate action to reduce the pain and speed up the healing process.
Find Out What Tennis Elbow Treatment Really Works
Maybe you have already been looking around to find out what treatment really works and what I found most amazing was that there is a lot of contradictory information available.
What I found most important was to actually find the one that really works instead of having to keep on suffering that nagging pain in my elbow!
Modern day medicine unfortunately, focuses on treating the symptoms while most of the times, the cause is not removed. In the case of tennis elbow, this will most likely mean that the moment you stop taking painkillers and go back to work, the pain will return sooner or later.
Before Trying Out Different Tennis Elbow Treatments …
If your elbow does not feel better after a few weeks, make sure you talk with your doctor and have him or her diagnose your problem so that you know what you are dealing with.
Your doctor will probably tell you to give your elbow a rest and have you try and avoid those repeated twisting motions that make your elbow hurt, or he can prescribe you some medication.
If you start noticing swelling in your elbow however or see that it is turning red you have to give see your doctor immediately.
The Most Effective Treatment To Do at Home
Apart from giving your elbow a rest, you can apply an ice pack a few times a day, which will probably take the pain away for a little while. You could also apply painkilling gels that have an anti-inflammatory effect like Ibuleve or take an OTC painkiller.
There is another thing you can do at home to ease and even cure your tennis elbow and it is what actually helped me after having tried a lot of different treatments, and that is learning to do specific elbow exercises, but I will share more about that in a minute.
Treatment by your Doctor
I have found that NonSteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs have improved my symptoms, and you can find them in all different forms and shapes, like sprays, mousses and gels to apply topically on the painful area and gently rub them in. You can expect to have some mild side effects like itching, but you are probably happy to get some pain relief.
You can also take oral NSAID in the form of tablets, but as you might know, NSAIDs have side effects like stomach pain, diarrhea and in some cases even stomach ulcers so you better have your doctor tell you what would be the best in your situation.
What you need to understand though is that these NSAIDs are painkillers. That is all they do, reduce and kill the pain. They won’t be the long-term cure though because you are only treating the symptom and not the cause. So you have a higher risk of your symptoms returning once you stop taking the medication.
Invasive Tennis Elbow Treatments
Studies have been done with steroid injections to reduce the pain and some results have come back positive, taking the pain away for a few weeks.
Again though, this treatment is focusing on killing the pain rather than killing the cause, so it is very likely that you will find your tennis elbow pain returning again.
Treatment That Uses a More Holistic Approach
According to a study performed by Dr. Peter Dorsher, acupuncture can be an effective way of treating tennis elbow, and in most patients he has treated during a study, he started seeing positive results:
Focuses on the Cause
After having gone the conventional path of treating my tennis elbow with painkillers and only focusing on the symptoms, I decided it was about time to actually deal with the underlying cause and see if I could do something that would cure my pain once and for all.
This meant I had to find out what was causing my trouble and after doing some research I found that certain tennis elbow exercises could actually help me take away the cause of my pain.
Different exercises I needed to do triggered point relief, strengthened my muscles and ensured everything was working the way it should. It not only gave me short term pain relief but also made me tennis elbow free.
Knowing now what exactly I can do to improve my own situation and not having to give in to the pain anymore by using medications has really impressed me which is why I want to share this information with all tennis elbow sufferers out there.
These techniques have done wonders for me and if you are looking for a way to deal with this pain in the comfort of your own home, you should really consider trying them yourself!
How Did I Cure My Tennis Elbow?
For years had I struggled with the annoying symptoms of tennis elbow, but only after starting to do some simple exercises at home, was I able to finally cure it.
I still remember when I first started noticing pain in my elbow. I thought I had just bumped into it without paying attention to it, or that maybe I had twisted it during my sleep so I was not really worried about it. I figured I would just wait for the pain to disappear again and continue on with life.
Unfortunately, it did not work out that way and it was the beginning of many visits to the doctor and having to rest my elbow on several occasions, not being allowed to do any lifting or grabbing for days. Apart from the obvious inconvenience, it was pretty annoying and I felt pretty helpless at times. So after the symptoms had returned yet again, I decided to find a way that would allow me to control the situation again.
I used all different types of tennis elbow straps and braces and although they would give me some relief, the symptoms just did not disappear completely. Until I talked with a physiotherapist who was specializing on working with people who suffer with tennis elbow. She told me about tennis exercises exercises that I could do at home, in order to strengthen my forearm muscles. She showed me how to do a few of them and we went through a few short sessions together, so that I could continue doing these at home.
From that point on, I started doing them a few minutes each day. They helped me cure my symptoms and I decided to pass the word on, so that people who are in the same situation I was in a few years ago, can also find relief.
Why Cure It If I Do Not Play Table Tennis?
Seeing that I do not play table tennis at present and have not played it for at least 20 years, I never thought about my pain symptoms being due to tennis elbow. I also never thought I would have to struggle in order to really cure it.
Now I have to admit that I am not a big fan of taking pain medication or any medication for that matter so I just stubbornly bit through the sour apple and endured the pain, although I did start to rest my elbow in positions the pain would not be very noticeable.
At first that seemed to work but after a while the pain starting becoming more nagging and more present when doing every day stuff.
Still not wanting to reside to painkillers but aware that I should take action, I decided to find out why I was hurting.
I Found a Way to Cure It
That is right!
After learning more about this condition, about the symptoms, the different treatments and just what happens when you experience tennis elbow pain I preferred learning some techniques to reduce the pain instead of residing to pain killers.
You see, I am a massage therapist for horses and in my industry it is very common to go for painkillers and cortisone injections whenever a horse shows signs of pain, instead of locating the underlying issue and working on it in order to completely solve it.
It was out of frustration towards this way of treating problems in animals that I decided to train and become a massage therapist. And it is because of this background that I was able to find a good treatment plan to cure my tennis elbow instead of just masking the symptoms.
How Did I Finally Cure My Tennis Elbow?
Basically I applied the same sort of approach to my problem as I would use when applying massage and stretching techniques to horses. Now this might sound weird to you, but if you come to think of it, muscles, bones and joints are the same whether they are human or belonging to a horse.
The same theories apply on the same type of structures and tissue. Okay so maybe the shape is not the same nor the movements, but the foundation really is the same.
So I figured I should look for an approach that would not only reduce the pain but that also would offer me a long-term solution without having to reside to painkillers.