What Can I Do About Tennis and Golfer’s Elbow Pain?
When individuals overuse their elbows while playing sports or in everyday activities, it can lead to having intense joint pain. Our pain management experts can give you a proper diagnosis on your condition and recommend a suitable treatment or program.
An overuse condition that we see often is tennis or golfer’s elbow. This uncomfortable condition is a result of inflammation of the tendons that attach to the elbow. When we refer to tennis elbow, this means that the lateral, or outside part of the elbow is affected; and when we refer to golfer’s elbow, this means that the medial or inside part of the elbow is affected. Both of these conditions can lead to loss of movement, making it difficult to perform daily activities, like chores or work.
Symptoms of tennis or golfer’s elbow include:
- Pain in the wrist, elbow or forearm
- Immobility of the arm
- Muscle and tendon tenderness
- Swollen arm tissue
Although patients visit our clinic to overcome discomfort from chronic joint or elbow pain, there are a few things that our patients can do at home for quick relief:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Take Pain Relievers
By taking aspirin or other store-bought pain relievers, it is possible to have less joint pain while performing basic activities. However, we never want our patients to be dependent on medication, so this should only be seen as a temporary relief method.
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 pain management clinic in Cedar Rapids for a complete evaluation. It’s time to plan a course of treatment – call us today at 319-774-8143.