If one is experiencing mild to severe pain in one’s arms or elbow area, one might already be suffering from tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis. As the name suggests, this is a condition more prevalent among tennis players.
However, according to studies, there are many people who are suffering from tennis elbow without knowing it. This is because people often neglect the pain, thinking it will go away after a while. Disregarding the pain caused by the condition and not finding a treatment can be very detrimental to one’s health.
In fact, if the condition is left untreated, it can even lead to surgery. That is why it is important to know all about this affliction and its causes.
Tennis elbow is a condition caused when the tendons or ligaments in one’s arms swell or become torn and damaged. When this happens, the arm and hands are affected. Symptoms of tennis elbow often include pain from the elbow area down to the palms, difficulty in moving the arm, stiffness in the joins, and more.
Difficulty in grasping or holding things, or applying pressure using one’s hands is also a sign that one has the condition. The tendons or ligaments in one’s arms can be damaged if one is doing repetitive motions of the wrist.
Activities such as clipping hedges, playing tennis, hammering, and more can all cause the condition. People who constantly use their hands in squeezing things or applying pressure on things, such as bakers or pastry makers, can also get tennis elbow. Sudden arm and wrist movements can also cause the condition.
How to Cure Tennis Elbow Naturally
There are many natural methods that can be used to cure tennis elbow. Most of the methods are only items that can be found at home – for example, ice packs. Those who want to know how to cure tennis elbow naturally can use ice packs to reduce pain and inflammation on the affected area. For faster results, one can alternate heat packs and ice packs on the area.
Another great way to naturally heal one’s tennis elbow is to use herbs. Herbs can be used in a variety of ways and can really be great alternatives for those who want to know how to cure tennis elbow naturally. For example, herbs such as spruce needles and arnica flowers can be added to one’s bath.
These herbs have anti-inflammatory properties, as well as being aromatic and soothing. Other herbal solutions include ginger tea, white willow bark, and celery. Mother Nature definitely knows how to cure tennis elbow and more.
Essential oils derived from medicinal plants such as mint, cayenne, chamomile, and rosemary can also be used to treat tennis elbow. They can be applied to the area to relieve pain as well as soothe strain. To know more about how to cure tennis elbow naturally, one only needs to go online and read reviews or studies about home remedies for the affliction.
Serving up Tennis Elbow
The balance, coordination, flexibility and stamina that tennis requires to make it one of the best overall workouts for individuals at any age. However, tennis is not a game to be taken lightly.
According to The American Journal of Sports Medicine, five injuries occur for every thousand hours of tennis played. One of the most common and painful injuries is tennis elbow, affecting almost half of athletes in racquet sports. Tennis elbow occurs when an individual repeatedly tightens the forearm muscles, which are used to straighten and raise the hand and wrist.
People may assume that this injury only affects tennis players but this is not the case. Other outdoor activities that require repetitive and vigorous use of the forearm muscle, such as gardening and painting, can also cause similar elbow injuries.
Fortunately, there are several steps individuals can take to prevent tennis elbow from occurring:
- Stretch and warm up: Before and after a match or practice, it is extremely important to gently stretch and warm up the forearm muscles. Tennis professionals recommend warming up for 35 minutes prior to any tennis match or practice. Forcing a cold muscle to stretch and bend can cause stress on the elbow.
- Use proper technique: Having a skilled tennis coach teach players proper technique is essential to avoiding tennis elbow. Practice makes perfect, therefore it is important to take the time to develop the skills to hit each stroke correctly.
- Build strength: Strengthening exercises are an ideal way to help prevent tennis elbow from occurring. A good strengthening exercise for athletes is to use hand weights and gently bend the wrist while the palm is face down and the elbow is elevated. Athletes should repeat this exercise as often as needed.
- Keep wrists straight: Keeping a straight wrist during a tennis stroke or any repetitive activity allows the larger muscles in the arm to do most of the work. The larger muscles are better designed for taking on stress and force than the smaller forearm muscles.
- Use ice: Proper post-workout care will help prevent tennis elbow from occurring. Applying an ice pack following an exercise routine or tennis match that utilized the arm muscles is beneficial.
The pain of tennis elbow doesn’t have to keep you from enjoying your favorite activities. Rest and over-the-counter pain relievers often help. However, if left untreated, tennis elbow can result in prolonged chronic pain.
It is important to speak to an orthopedic specialist if elbow pain persists beyond a few days, occurs at night or while resting, or if there is swelling or significant bruising around the joint or arm.
A doctor may recommend a number of non-surgical options such as physical therapy or wearing an elbow brace. If non-surgical options are not enough to alleviate pain, a doctor may suggest surgery.
Although tennis elbow occurs in many people, it is rarely a condition that warrants extensive treatment. First aid methods such as resting the afflicted arm, the application of warm and cold compresses, or drinking over the counter medication can usually cure the condition.
However, for people whose tendons have become too damaged, a physician’s help is needed. Sometimes, surgery and steroid injections may be needed to cure the condition. That is why everyone must remember not to ignore the pain in the arms to avoid having to pay for the surgery and other treatments.