Despite the name, you don't have to be a tennis enthusiast to suffer from a case of tennis elbow. Tennis elbow occurs when the tendons located in your forearm become inflamed. It can be caused by a number of activities that involve repetitive movement, including completing manual labor and playing an instrument. Here's what you need to know about treating tennis elbow.
1. Tennis Elbow Is an Overuse Injury
Tennis elbow is actually a type of overuse injury. Overuse injuries occur due to repetitive motion rather than a single traceable event. This means that your first step to recovery is resting your affected arm.
Rest does not mean that you have to stop all activity completely. For example, instead of playing tennis or swimming for exercise, you might try jogging or cycle. At work, you can try completely your work doing your other arm, or you might ask for alternative work until your arm heals.
2. Change How You Manipulate Your Arm
During activities that require you to use your arm, try changing how you power your movements. Instead of relying on your forearm or elbow to complete all the work, you might use your shoulder or upper arm to assist with powering the movement. In the long run, this will help you strengthen and utilize your entire arm, rather than a single portion.
3. Explore Pain Management Options
While your arm heals, you'll want to eliminate the discomfort. Applying ice to the affected arm for short periods of time will help minimize the pain and swelling. Try to ice your arm a few times a day.
You may also want to take an over-the-counter pain medication. To stay on top of the pain, take your next dose before you notice pain (while still adhering to the dosage instructions or your doctor's recommendations).
4. Attend Physical Therapy
After the pain and inflammation goes down, you should consider attending physical therapy sessions. Physical therapy will help you strengthen the other areas of your arm so that you're less likely to strain your forearm. Your physical therapist will create a routine that incorporates various moves that work your entire arm.
Another advantage of physical therapy is that your therapist can identify problematic movements that put you at risk from suffering from another instance of tennis elbow or even other injuries. For example, you may have an over-reliance on your forearms because you have weak wrists.
You might not recognize this on your own, but your therapist can identify it as a contributing factor and tell you how to alter your movements and strengthen your wrists.
To learn more, reach out to injury treatment services in your area.