Tennis Elbow Treatment in 7 Easy Steps
Tennis elbow, also being termed as lateral epicondylitis refers to the inflammation of the epicondyle region located near the lateral condyle of the femur. Individuals suffering from tennis elbow may experience soreness at the point of attachment of the tendons from the forearm muscle with the bones, thus encumbering the movements associated with the part of the limb between the elbow and the wrist.
Adhering to a particular modus operandi consisting of a series of healing steps may result in the alleviation of the ailment. These steps may include various traditional and alternative modes of treatment depending upon the intensity of the pain. Moreover, treating tennis elbow in a timely manner ensures fast recovery with perfect strength convalescence. Following is a series of easy steps, which may help in treating tennis elbow effectively:
1. Alteration in the Arm Activity or Playing Technique
Tennis playing techniques along with stroke mechanics should be completely reviewed by the concerned physician. Moreover, the tennis racquets should be checked for appropriate size while rigid tennis tables should be avoided for playing the game. Suitable modifications should be made to the wrist and the forearm movements in order to prevent the recurrence of the ailment.
2. Covering Arm with Ice Pack
Packing one’s affected arm with an ice bag for around 20 minutes serves to relieve the pain and swelling instantly. However, if a slight redness or irritation is observed, then the ice pack should be removed immediately to prevent ice burns. However, greasing the affected areas with a thin film of vegetable oil prior to the pack’s application might put a stop to burns.
3. Treating Affected Area with Heat Therapy
Heat therapy plays a significant role in relieving the inflammation of the tendons. Little amount of moist heat should be provided to the affected areas regularly to speed up the recovery process.
4. Anti-Inflammatory Medications (NSAIDs) Medication
Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicine used as an analgesic and antipyretic in the treatment of tennis elbow. Specific dosage of the medicine in oral forms should be given to the patient, depending upon the physician’s prescription. However, individuals suffering from stomach ulcers or asthma should be kept away from the Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Medications (NSAIDs) administration.
5. Wearing Elbow Braces
Wearing elbow braces or elbow clasps helps in the recuperation of the ailment by confining the movement of the affected tendons, providing support during activities simultaneously. Being made of silicon or plastics, they are available in various chemists’ shops and sports outlets. Elbow braces serve to reduce the pain experienced while performing manual tasks.
6. Use of Corticosteroids Injections
Corticosteroids are the steroid hormones, which are released by the adrenal cortex or are synthetically produced. Injectable corticosteroids are the drugs, which are utilized for alleviating the persistent tennis elbow pain by reducing the inflammation. However, there are a few adverse effects of dispensing the corticosteroid drugs to the patient. One of them is a condition known as “cortisone flare” which is characterized by the crystallization of the injected hormone, while there are a few other cases where whitening of the skin patch occurs. Irrespective of the side effects, Corticosteroid injections are one of the effective treatment methods for curing the ailment.
7. Surgical Treatment
Tennis elbow is required to be treated with surgery if the patient fails to recover by the application of conventional treatment methods or the self-care steps. However, only 5% of patients suffering from the ailment are treated with surgical procedures. Tennis elbow surgery involves the removal of the affected segment of the tendons followed by the healing of the remaining part. Moreover, the post-operative treatment regime should include simple exercises to accelerate the period of recovery.
Besides the aforementioned traditional treatment methods, tennis elbow can be treated alternatively with massage therapy, acupuncture, and anesthetic hot pepper ointments. Moreover, recent studies have revealed some new modes of treatment including the low-energy shock wave treatment, treatment with nitric oxide and autologous blood injection.
Tennis elbow, if diagnosed at an early stage, can be recovered easily with the above-mentioned conservative methods. However, a proper postoperative program comprising of physiotherapy and exercises is also required for the quick recuperation.
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