Overuse of the tendons around the elbow while playing sports or in everyday activities often leads to painful tendon injuries. Our sports medicine experts can give you a proper diagnosis and recommend suitable treatment options.
Common tendon overuse conditions include tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow. This results in degeneration or tearing of the tendons that attach to the elbow. Tennis elbow involves the tendons on the outside aspect of the elbow. Golfer’s elbow involves the tendons on the inside part of the elbow. Both conditions make gripping, lifting and other daily activities difficult.
Symptoms of tennis or golfer’s elbow include:
- Pain in the wrist, elbow or forearm
- Difficulty moving the arm
- Muscle and tendon tenderness
- Swelling over the elbow
Here are a few things that you can do at home for quick relief:
1. Resting the Arm
One of the best things that our patients can do to relieve the discomfort of tennis or golfer’s elbow is to let the elbow rest. Although it’s good to keep the area functional, you never want to push past any pain tolerance or cause more discomfort. Just go easy on the affected area and take the time to heal.
2. Apply Ice Packs
Apply ice packs to the affected arm several times a day to help minimize joint pain. You can use ready-made ice packs, or make your own with ice cubes or frozen peas and zippered plastic bags. Apply a thin cloth over the ice pack if it’s too cold.
3. Wear a Compression Bandage
Patients can also wrap the affected arm with a form-fitting compression bandage. The bandage provides support during injury. Make sure that the arm maintains regular blood flow to help the joint heal properly.
4. Massage the Arm
Massaging the painful arm gently can help reduce elbow pain naturally by minimizing inflammation, swelling and stiffness. A patient can perform this massage on their own, or they can visit a spa to have a therapist perform a massage.
5. Take Pain Relievers
By taking aspirin or other store-bought pain relievers, it is possible to have less pain while performing basic activities. However, we never want our patients becoming dependent on medication, so this should only be seen as a temporary relief method.
6. Applications of Heat
Some patients find pain relief with heat application. This is a great excuse for a hot bath or shower. Other alternatives include applying a heating pad or a warm moist cloth to the affected elbow.
In most cases, the pain from tennis or golfer’s elbow will decrease gradually in a few days, but if the pain persists or gets worse, then we recommend visiting our clinic in San Diego for a complete evaluation.
If it’s time to plan a course of treatment, call us today at 760-909-2355.