Help for Tennis Elbow
What Is Tennis Elbow & How Do You Get Tennis Elbow?
Tennis elbow is the non medical term for the elbow pain one may receive after overusing the arm, forearm, or hand muscles. Contrary to popular belief, one does not have to play tennis to experience this issue, but the term was coined due to the popularity of the issue among tennis players. The pain one experiences in the elbow or arm is actually the tendons swelling.
Those who participate in activities that require gripping objects and using the thumb and fingers are likely to get tennis elbow. Tennis elbow is the number one reason for elbow pain and people the age of 40 are the most likely to experience it. Tennis elbow does not develop overnight, it takes time and after a while of excess stress on the elbow is when it starts to develop.
There are a few tennis motions that can cause tennis elbow very quickly. If you want to avoid tennis elbow, it is recommended you stay away from single-hand backhand swings with poor form, forehand swings that are mistimed and bend the wrist, and snapping the wrist when serving. Obviously, these can only be avoided if you plan tennis, but they are the main reasons that tennis elbow can develop in a tennis player.
Common activities one can receive tennis elbow from are squash, racquetball, fencing, baseball, lacrosse, weight lifting, golf, and hockey. Also, those who have a job that has a lot of repetitive arm movements can also suffer from tennis elbow. Common occupations that make a person prone to being affected by tennis elbow are carpenter, data entry clerk, painter, yard worker, and electrician.
The symptoms of tennis elbow are pretty clear and hard to confuse with any other related issue. The most common symptom of tennis elbow is pain and a tender feeling on the bony knob located on the outside of your elbow. This location is where the main issues lie. Pain has been known to also spread to the upper as well as lower arm.
Those who suffer are likely to feel the pain when they do activities that involve their hands. This is confusing for most people because the name is a little misleading. Sometimes people will get confused and think they have something else because the pain gets worse when they use their hands. Rest assured, it is probably tennis elbow.
Tennis elbow pain has been known to get worse when you lift something, grip something, open a door or can, or even lift your hand. Oftentimes people may confuse tennis elbow with golfer’s elbow. However, they are different from one another. The difference is that with tennis elbow you will be feeling the pain on the outside of your elbow, whereas with golfer’s elbow you will be feeling the pain on the inside of your elbow.
Generally, your doctor will do an x-ray to ensure that what you are suffering from is in fact tennis elbow and not anything more serious. They will also have you flex your arm to see where the pain is originating from. It may sound quite painful, but it is the only way to properly diagnose it.
Basic Healing Tips, and Can a Person Play Tennis If He or She Has Tennis Elbow?
In a perfect world, no one would ever get tennis elbow. Unfortunately, we do not live in such a world, so one must take some steps and extra precaution to avoid tennis elbow all together.
There a few things one can do to prevent tennis elbow from ever developing. The number one step to avoid tennis elbow is proper stretching and developing the arm muscles so they can endure activities that could lead to the development of tennis elbow. This is easily the best way to avoid tennis elbow altogether.
However, this does not guarantee you will not get the condition at all. Even those with the perfect stretching techniques and strongest arms are still at risk. So if you fall into that category, there are a few other things you can do to avoid tennis elbow.
1) Maintaining a good physical shape and strength
Use proper form and technique when participating in activities or sports that require excessive arm movements. For example, use the correct swing and posture when swinging in tennis.
2) Switch hands in activities that require excessive hand or arm movements
By doing this you can make sure that not too much pressure is placed on one tendon and that the pressure is spread out among arms and hands.
3) Develop your arm and shoulder muscles
Believe it or not, this takes a great deal of pressure off of your arm. Those who are all around stronger are much less likely to encounter any tennis elbow problems.
As you can see, there are a lot of different things that can be done to avoid tennis elbow. There are also products on the market that can prevent tennis elbow altogether. We will get more into these later.
There are a few different options for treating tennis elbow. One of the most popular is simply home treatment. Believe it or not, tennis elbow pain can easily be reduced from home along with starting the process of healing the tendons.
The simplest way is to avoid activities that are causing the pain while also resting your elbow and hand. You may have to avoid the activity for up to a few weeks, maybe even a few months. So it is recommended that at this time you stop playing tennis or any other activity that may have caused the pain.
When you do start to experience pain throughout the day, you should immediately apply ice to the pain area. It is recommended you keep the ice on the pain for up to 20 minutes. Also, you should keep a layer in between the ice and the skin such as a think piece of cloth or a towel.
Elevating your elbow or hand can also decrease the pain significantly. This will also reduce swelling as well. Try not to overdo this as the arm can lose blood circulation. Pain medication can also help to reduce the pain. Even over the counter pain medicine can help significantly. You can also look into pain creams.
There are a lot of different routes you can take to deal with the symptoms of tennis elbow. What works for one person may not work for another. So, if something does not work try another method to relieve the pain.
Exercises To Strengthen Elbow Tendons
One of the best ways to avoid tennis elbow altogether is to strengthen the elbow. There are a ton of exercises to increase the strength of one’s elbow which will ultimately help one avoid tennis elbow. The exercises that are most effective make the elbow go through a full range of motions.
All of the exercises we cover should be done at least 3 times a day in sets of 10. As your elbow starts to gain more strength, it is recommended you increase the weight and frequency of the exercises as well as the amount of sets.
Here are the different types of exercises one can do to increase the strength of your elbow.
Lifting With Dumbbells
Dumbbells are great because the amount of exercises one can do with them is nearly endless. The best way to utilize dumbbells to increase elbow strength is to perform exercises such as wrist curls, wrist rotations, and other types of wrist workouts.
Barbells are also great for gaining elbow strength. Common exercises for increasing elbow strength include wrist curls, reverse wrist curls, barbell curls, and reverse curls. However, if you are recovering from an injury, make sure to be extra careful. This is a great way to make your tennis elbow even worst if done incorrectly!
Body Weight Exercises
If you do not have access to a gym or weights, this is a great alternative. Pushups and pull-ups are a great way to build elbow strength and prevent tennis elbow.
How Do You Treat Tennis Elbow?
Generally, the ultimate solution for tennis elbow for the long term is to prevent the relapse of the condition. There is no sense in applying various remedies for tennis elbow if you know that it will happen again and again in the future. Having said that, how then do you keep a relapse from occurring? Ideally, you should do extension exercises 3 times a week for a full 12-week period.
Instead of wasting your hard-earned money and other valuable resources on expensive rehab equipment and numerous massage therapy sessions, why not do the required treatment and therapy at home? In case you are wondering, doing physical therapy for tennis elbow right in your own home is possible. Just make sure that there are no more pain and inflammation before you begin the therapy.
For your home treatment to work, you will need a detailed guide such as Geoff Hunt’s step-by-step instruction manual. Hunt is a Certified Fitness Trainer and a known exercise rehab specialist. You can watch a video presentation of the instruction manual through the link below.
Some popular cures for tennis elbow like inflammatory painkillers can actually do more harm than good as they can cause bleeding in the stomach lining. Worse, some people who have had past bouts with peptic ulcer, reported that their condition was re-triggered by the painkillers.
Sure, people who have never suffered from peptic ulcer any time in the past are not as prone to the condition as former sufferers. However, that doesn’t mean that they are totally safe. If you continuously take painkillers, in due time, you may develop stomach ulcer. Thus, it is not worth taking the risk. To always be on the safe side, it is best that you stay clear of these inflammatory painkillers even at the height of a tennis elbow attack.
Home treatment of your tennis elbow requires your persistence and utmost patience. It will eventually bear fruit if you stick to the recommended treatment for several weeks. The inflammation should not take long to subside and it should be gone completely after a few days. Improving strength on the affected area, however, will take time, anywhere between 8 – 12 weeks, to be more precise.
Your efforts will be rewarded as the condition is expected to be addressed for good once the strength development program is completed. The program that we are referring to here is in no way the same as any other regular muscle mass building routine out there. Instead, it is made up of several precisely-designed movements intended to target the tendons, ligaments, and muscles around the affected area of the elbow.
It goes without saying that until such time that the swelling and pain are completely gone, you should refrain from doing any strenuous physical activities or exercise. The application of ice is among the key ingredients for healing tennis elbow successfully. So, upon noticing the buildup of swelling, you should immediately get some ice cubes wrapped in a thick cloth or shirt, or placed in a zip loc bag, or anything similar, and then ice the affected area until it is numbed.
Ice the affected area for a full 10 minutes or so. You may even apply the ice beyond 10 minutes, if necessary. However, you must make sure not to exceed 30 minutes as you may incur damages to the tissues and cells in the area.
In closing, try to spend some time to check out the detailed manual mentioned previously as it offers easy to follow video tutorials, highly descriptive images, audio files, as well as loads of helpful tips and bits of advice for the treatment of tennis elbow, and keeping it at bay for good.
Simply put, it is a comprehensive guide and if you want to know the answer to the question “how do you treat tennis elbow?” well you can have it by clicking on the link below.