What is Tennis Elbow?
Tennis Elbow is a painful condition of the upper arm near the elbow resulting in tenderness and inflammation. Repetitive motion tends to put more strain on the extensor tendons of the elbow thereby causing more pain and discomfort. The disease is formally known as Lateral Epicondylitis as it affects the lateral part of the elbow. Informally, it is also referred to as “Shooter’s Elbow” and “Archer’s Elbow”.
Golfer’s Elbow & Bursitis are often mistaken for Tennis Elbow on account of having similar symptoms. Tennis Elbow is characterized by injury to the tendon fibers that connect the muscles and bones. As the name suggests, Tennis Elbow is usually associated with Tennis. Though, it may be caused by any activity that encourages repetitive twisting of the wrist.
Numerous kinds of non specific conventional medicines are generally available for the treatment of Tennis Elbow. Still, they can not beat the unmatched effectiveness of natural home remedies for Tennis Elbow coupled with adequate amount of rest and proper stretching exercises. Proper massage helps to reduce muscle tightness and tension on the tendons thereby facilitating the healing process.
Causes and Symptoms of Tennis Elbow
Apart from injury, Tennis Elbow also attributed to a degenerative process resulting from repetitive motion and increasing age. As already mentioned, it may also be caused due to sports like Tennis, Badminton, Squash etc.
For example, tight-stringed racket, poor back hand technique, playing with wet or heavy balls or small racket grip may invariably lead to the occurrence of this disease. Moreover, carpenters, plumbers, gardeners and painters are also at an increased risk of developing this disease.
Basically, the injury begins with tiny tears in the tendons and muscles but due to repeated strain the process of healing becomes hampered. In addition, there may be a leakage of collagen from the muscles leading to inflammation. Plus, any nerve controlling the muscles in the arm and hand may be affected by a cut off from the flow of blood due to increased pressure resulting in a weak grip.
Tennis Elbow is typically characterized by a recurring pain on the lateral part of the upper forearm (below the bend of the elbow). Bending or extending the arm fully may also cause immense pain radiating from the arm towards the wrist.
As a result, simple day to day activities like lifting, gripping and carrying even small objects tend to cause a great deal of discomfort and difficulty to the affected individual. The pain may last for a period of six to twelve weeks, depending up on the intensity of the problem. Muscle tightness, morning stiffness of the elbow, swelling and tenderness are some other symptoms of Tennis Elbow.
Natural Home Remedies for Tennis Elbow
• Application of ice packs on the painful area for about 15-20 minutes at regular intervals throughout the day (though, not more than four times a day with a gap of at least one hour between each session) is deemed one of the most popular and equally effective pain relieving natural home remedies for Tennis Elbow. Alternating ice packs and heat packs is also a good strategy.
• A dry potato poultice is a valuable natural remedy used to cure this ailment. Use baked and hot potatoes for this purpose.
• Hydrotherapy is considered as one of the most successful natural home remedies for Tennis Elbow. For this, just dip the painful elbow in a whirlpool for about 10-15 minutes to improve the circulation of blood in the affected area.
• The therapeutic properties of avocado and calendula oil are highly beneficial for healing Tennis Elbow related inflammation. Regularly massage the affected area moderately with the help of any of these oils to get rid of this painful condition.
• Taking a celery decoction at the time of meals is one of the best natural home remedies for Tennis Elbow. For this, add a few drops of celery extract (prepared from celery seeds) in warm water.
• Alternatively, taking a celery leaves extract is yet another tried and tested home remedy for Tennis Elbow Treatment. For this, boil a cup of water mixed with 10 to 15 celery leaves for about half an hour and then strain it. Daily consume this solution about two times per day for about a month. This remdy is sure to give encouraging results within a week of its adoption.
• Applying ginger compresses and drinking ginger tea on a regular basis help in reducing the pain and inflammation associated with this disease.
Diet for Tennis Elbow
When dealing with Tennis Elbow, a diet consisting of fruits, vegetables and nuts rich in omega 3 fatty acids is highly beneficial. Spinach, celery, cabbage, broccoli, blueberries, pineapples and walnuts are particularly useful in this regard.
Apart from this, milk, cheese and other dairy products supply the body with essential vitamins and minerals that aid in faster recovery of the injured muscles and tendons. Needless to add, adequate amount of rest is an essential prerequisite to avoid re injury and facilitate the process of healing.