Tennis Elbow Treatment

Written by Devin Flanigan
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The scientific name for the condition commonly known as tennis elbow is lateral epicondylitis, though knowing this offers little comfort to the millions who suffer from this condition. Tennis elbow is the most common form of elbow injury, accounting for almost 90 percent of the diagnoses for people reporting elbow pain. The most common symptoms are pain and tenderness on the outer part of the elbow.

The most common cause of tennis elbow is overuse of the wrist extensors, which attach at the elbow. This can be brought on by many other activities than tennis, including most repetitive forms of manual labor. This malady can also result from a sudden impact or injury, such as banging your elbow on a hard surface.

Cold Comfort for Tennis Elbow

Cold therapy is recommended for the early stages of most acute muscle and tendon injuries. As an analgesic and vasoconstrictor, it relieves both pain and swelling, as it also promotes rapid healing. One great method of cold therapy for tennis elbow involves freezing a paper cup full of water, tearing off the top, and applying the ice in a circular motion all over the affected area.

Compression braces that include cold therapy offer the added benefit of stability and compression. These can be used during activity without the cold component in order to prevent further injury, or afterwards as cold therapy to reduce inflammation. The rule of thumb for tennis elbow treatment later in the healing process is heat before activity, cold after.

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