Is your elbow painful, sore and tender to touch? Do you find it difficult to perform simple tasks, such as shaking hands or opening the door? If your answer is yes, you could be suffering from tennis elbow.
Inflammation of the tendons and muscles attached to the elbow occur due to repetitive turning or twisting of the arm. This condition is medically known as lateral epicondylitis. You will know it better as tennis elbow. While this can be a painful injury to have, it can be treated quite effectively. However, if you do not address the problem, you will be in pain for years and keep injuring the same tendons and muscles, thereby prolonging your agony.
Symptoms of Tennis Elbow:
How do you know you are suffering from tennis elbow? Well, take a look at these symptoms. If you suffer from them, you definitely have tennis elbow.
- The pain comes on gradually and worsens with time
- The outer part of your elbow is tender to touch
- Pain extends from the outer part of the elbow to your forearm
- When you try turning the door knob or shake hands with a friend or acquaintance, the pain worsens
Even if you do not play tennis, you can still get tennis elbow. Sports like badminton, kayaking, baseball, canoeing and fly fishing, and using a screwdriver or hammer excessively can result in tennis elbow. Even using a roller brush to paint your ceiling can cause this injury.
What Can You Do?
Well, you have two options. You can go to an orthopedic doctor and get cortisone injections or you can opt for home remedies. Remember, home remedies for tennis elbow are always preferable, as they use natural products and do not have any side effects.
Thankfully, there are several home remedies that not only hastens recovery from tennis elbow, but also helps alleviate the pain that comes with this condition. So, without much ado, here are the top 25 home remedies for tennis elbow that you can use to treat your tennis elbow.
Determine Which Tennis Elbow Remedy is Best Working for You?
1. Rest the Injured Arm:
Perhaps the most important part of healing tennis elbow is to allow it to rest, so that the healing process can occur seamlessly. This means avoiding any repetitive movement that could further injure the tendons and muscles. You should still do daily living functions to prevent the muscles from weakening. Otherwise, try and minimize use of that arm as far as possible.
2. Ice Pack:
Tennis elbow means swelling and pain. You can get relief from both by applying an ice pack to your elbow. Do not use the ice pack for more than 15 minutes at a time. However, you can apply the pack every 2 to 3 hours to ease the pain and reduce the inflammation. Remember, once the swelling goes down due to the ice pack, your arm will begin healing.
The first thing that you should do on sustaining a tennis elbow injury is to apply a compress. It will not only hasten the healing process, but also help reduce the swelling. Wrap your elbow in a bandage. Make sure it is not too tight, as it will inhibit blood circulation. Blood circulation to the area is necessary, as it carries vital nutrients to the injured part to speed up the healing.
4. Consume Omega-3 Rich Food:
Omega-3 essential fatty acids help make your muscles and bones stronger. The acids also reduce inflammation. So look to eat foods that are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. You can add Edamame cheese, wild rice, walnuts, flaxseed, beans, tuna and salmon to your daily diet until your elbow heals completely.
You can massage your injured elbow yourself rather than spending money going to a physiotherapist. There are two types of massage, namely trigger point massage and friction massage, which are primarily used to heal tennis elbow. The former has to be performed by a professional in order to be effective. However, you can do the friction massage yourself. Just use your thumb and gently rub the sore elbow back and forth. Massage the area that is most painful.
4. Wear a Sling:
When you have tennis elbow, you have to immobilize it to help healing. The sling will prevent you from using your arm unnecessary. If you continue to use your arm after the injury, it will exacerbate it. However, do not keep your arm the whole day in the sling. Remove it frequently and stretch the arm. This will prevent your arm muscles from atrophying.
5. Elevate Your Injured Arm:
When you suffer from tennis elbow, one of the best ways to heal the arm quickly is by elevating it. When you raise your arm, the blood can flow more easily rather than settling in the forearm. You can raise your arm by keeping it above your heart level and propping it on a soft pillow or cushion. This will help reduce the swelling and also ease the pain.
6. Stretching Exercise for Your Arm:
One of the main reasons for tennis elbow is not stretching your arm. Stretching also can help your arm to recover. Once you notice the pain subsiding, it is time to begin stretching exercises that increase the flexibility of your arm and also strengthen the forearm muscles. You can straighten and bend your arm alternatively. And, use your healthy hand to push down on your affected hand until you can feel the muscles in the forearm stretching.
7. Avocado Oil:
Avocado oil is known to reduce inflammation, therefore a best remedy for tennis elbow.. So look to gently massage your injured elbow with this oil every day. Try massaging a few times during the day for the best results.
No, you don’t have to eat the potato. Instead, bake a potato and place in a towel. Place this warm potato pack on your injured elbow. It will help to ease the pain and is known to be pretty effective.
Fenugreek has anti-inflammatory properties and this helps to reduce the swelling, so that your elbow can begin healing. Make a paste of fenugreek seeds with some milk. Apply this paste liberally on your affected elbow and let it stay on as long as possible.
Turmeric has been used in Asian cultures since time immemorial for its healing powers. Turmeric contains curcumin, which works an anti-inflammatory agent. Furthermore, turmeric is rich in antioxidants that eliminate free radicals from the injured part of your body. You can add turmeric to your food or make a paste with water and apply it on your elbow. Remember, turmeric can stain your skin and clothes, so be careful while applying it. It will help reduce the swelling and the pain.
Curcumin is available in the form of tablets that you can take three times a day as well if you are not keen on using turmeric
Many alternative medicine practitioners use extract of Boswellin herb to treat several inflammatory conditions. You too can use this extract to ease the swelling and facilitate healing. The extract is available in the form of capsules. You will be able to find it in major natural health stores. Take two capsules a day with water.
Ginger also is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. You have the option of brewing ginger tea and consuming it to ease the swelling or you can make a paste of ginger with some water and apply it on your elbow.
13. Celery Seeds:
Celery seeds are considered to one of the most effective home remedies for tennis elbow. Remove the juice from the seeds and dilute with water. You should be looking to add about 5 to 10 drops of celery seed juice in a glass of hot water. Consume this drink before each meal to hasten the healing process.
14. Calendula Oil:
Take a few drops of Calendula oil and massage your elbow. It will help reduce the swelling and hasten your elbow to heal. You also will notice a reduction in pain. Massage your elbow twice a day with the oil for the best results.
Pineapple contains a compound known as bromelain. This compound has anti-inflammatory properties and can help reduce the pain and swelling in your elbow. You can eat pineapple every day or drink its juice. Be sure to have it without adding any sugar.
16. Green Tea:
We all know that green tea is filled with antioxidants. When you have tennis elbow, there will be free radicals at the injury site to prevent healing. So drink a cup of green tea every day, particularly in the morning, to eliminate the free radicals and hasten your recovery. Furthermore, green tea also contains many nutrients that will help heal your elbow quickly and effortlessly. This is one of the most effective natural remedies for tennis elbow.
17. Cabbage Leaves:
Soak a few cabbage leaves in water and apply them on your elbow. Use a bandage to secure the leaves and let them stay overnight. It will not only ease the pain, it also will help reduce swelling at your elbow.
You already know how healthy broccoli is, otherwise why would your mother have forced you to eat it? Broccoli is rich in calcium, vitamins and phytonutrients that keep the body healthy. You can ease your pain and strengthen your elbow by applying a paste of broccoli on it. Allow the paste to stand for 20 minutes before washing it off.
19 White Willow Bark:
White willow bark works as a natural painkiller due to the presence of a compound known as Salicin. You can consume powdered white willow bark with water to help reduce the pain of your tennis elbow. Actually, it is a much better alternative to manage the pain than taking OTC or prescription painkillers, which could have harmful side effects.
20. Celery Leaves:
Just like celery seeds, even celery leaves prove to be effective cure for tennis elbow. Boil 10 celery leaves in about a cup of water. Simmer the water for half an hour and then strain. Drink this concoction twice a day for a month. You will begin noticing an improvement in your symptoms within a week of starting this home remedy for tennis elbow.
21. St. John’s Wort:
Use dry St. John’s Wort to brew an herbal tea. Allow it to steep for 10 minutes before straining and drinking it. This will help reduce the pain and also calm you down. You can enhance the flavour of the tea by adding a teaspoon of honey. However, St. John’s herb can increase photosensitivity. So make it a point to apply sunscreen liberally when stepping out. Do not use this herb if you are on any prescription medication. Consult your doctor first.
22. Mustard Oil and Garlic:
Garlic is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and you can use these properties to your advantage. Crush four cloves of garlic and heat them in two tablespoons of mustard oil until they turn dark brown in color. Let the oil turn lukewarm and then apply it on your elbow. It will help ease the pain and reduce the inflammation.
23. Black Sesame Seeds:
If your tennis elbow is extremely painful, you definitely should try this home remedy. Soak a tablespoon of black sesame seeds in water overnight. The following morning consume the seeds and drink the water. Use this remedy everyday and you will notice a reduction in the pain after a few days.
24. Jamaican Dogwood Tea:
Jamaican dogwood is found in North America and is popular for its calming and relaxing properties. It also helps with nerve pain. Brew Jamaican dogwood tea by steeping the dried root in a cup of hot water. Slowly bring the water to a boil and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Strain and consume this tea to ease the pain and reduce the symptoms of tennis elbow. Drink 2 cups of this tea every day for best results.
25. Lavender Essential Oil:
Another effective tennis elbow remedy, lavender essential oil can help ease the pain and inflammation. Gently massage the oil into the affected elbow. You also have the option of adding the oil to your bath water and bathing in it.
The Final Verdict:
There is no doubt that home remedies are effective in treating tennis elbow. However, most remedies do take time. So, it is in your interest to be patient and persevere with the remedies. Generally, tennis elbow can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, if not a few years, to heal, depending on how severely injured your muscles and tendons are.
So be patient and you will be grateful that you opted for home remedies for tennis elbow rather than getting cortisone injections or surgery.