There is nothing worse than being injured.
And when it is an injury that can impact your daily life and routine, it is felt even more.
Take for example tennis elbow.
Most people think you develop tennis elbow from playing tennis.
But the fact is that 95% of tennis elbow cases each year are from Adults who don`t even play the sport.
So that leaves a mere 5% of people who get it from playing a racket sport such as tennis, squash or racquetball.
Tennis elbow is a repetitive strain condition. This means that you simply do not develop tennis elbow overnight.
You develop tennis elbow usually on the job or playing a sport.
Any type of job where you are using your hands to complete a task can cause tennis elbow.
For example, construction workers who use hammers, drills, other types of equipment are at high risk. So are cooks, dentists, factory workers, plumbers, gardeners, postal workers, nurses. These are all considered high-risk occupations for developing tennis elbow.
The repetitive nature of extending your wrist causes your extensor tendon, which attaches on the outside of your elbow, to develop small, hair-like tears. Over time, these small tears can grow larger and larger if you continue with the activity in the first place.
The greater the tear, the greater the pain and discomfort.
Of course, most people ignore the pain early on and pass it off as something minor.
But it is when the pain gets so bad, that they can`t even carry a bag of groceries, shake hands with someone, or twist the lid off a jar that they know their condition has developed into something more serious.
So what can you do about it?
There are 3 natural remedies you can try right now for tennis elbow pain relief:
1. Ice and Heat
Applying heat to any soft tissue injury will help address the pain and inflammation. The heat will help improve blood flow and improve range of motion.
In the early stages of your injury, apply ice twice a day for 10-15 minute intervals. Never apply ice directly to your skin as it can cause irreversible skin damage. Wrap the ice in a towel or t-shirt and apply to your affected elbow.
Heat can be used on your painful elbow. In order to promote fast healing and repair, heat will promote blood flow to your elbow and flush out any old, stagnate blood. Fresh nutrients will dramatically accelerate the healing process.
Just like applying ice, apply heat to your injured elbow for 10-15 minute intervals twice a day. It is best to use a heating pad or hot water bottle.
Check out my post on heat or ice for tennis elbow – the truth about it.
2. Self-massage for tennis elbow
We all know how a good massage feels. But it has it`s healing properties.
You do not have to pay a professional massage therapist to massage your injured elbow when you can do it yourself.
The key to a successful self-massage for tennis elbow is to massage across the muscle fibers. So instead of massaging along your forearm, massage across your forearm/elbow region.
This technique is called cross-fiber friction massage. So as the name suggests, you massage across the muscle fibers instead of along the fibers. Doing helps improve and promote healing of the damaged muscle fibers and soft tissues.
I recommend you do this 2 times a day for 10 minutes each time.
Tip: Do not apply the cream to your affected elbow. You need the friction of your fingers against your skin/muscles to really get the blood flowing.
This one can be a tricky one because you do not want to stretch to the point of pain.
Stretching helps improve flexibility and increase your range of motion. There is support behind the notion that the more flexible your muscles, tendons, and ligaments are, the less likely you are to suffering an injury.
Personally, I do not support this theory but I do support stretching for tennis elbow recovery.
There is one simple stretch called the prayer stretch I recommend you do every day.
It is quite easy to do:
Stand up straight and bring your hands together in front of you. Bring your palms together as you are about to pray. Keeping the palms of your hands together in the prayer position, lower them slowing in front of your body until you start to feel a stretch in your forearms. Hold this position for 5 seconds and then return to starting position.
There is a second stretch called the reverse prayer stretch that is equally effective.
With your arms hanging down straight in front of your body, bring your palms together with your fingers facing the floor. Press your palms together and slowly bring your palms up to your body until you feel a stretch in your forearms. Your elbows should be high and out to the side of your body. Again, hold this stretch for 5 seconds and return down to starting position with your arms down and in front of your body.
Tennis elbow can be a stubborn injury to overcome. However, know you have 3 natural ways to start your tennis elbow recovery. Be sure to get started with these ASAP before your condition gets so bad that you become very dependent on others or you have to take time off work. Give them a try right now, it won`t cost you a dime.
About The Author:
Geoff Hunt is the author of the number one selling online tennis elbow treatment program – Tennis Elbow Secrets Revealed. He is an Exercise Rehab Specialist and Certified Personal Fitness Trainer. He has penned many repetitive strain injury books on Plantar Fasciitis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Rotator Cuff Injuries.