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Ways to Treat and Prevent Tennis Elbow
You don't have to play tennis to get tennis elbow. In fact, about 95 percent of folks with this condition never set foot on a court. Instead, they garden, they type, they turn wrenches, they carry briefcases: activities that require them to repeatedly rotate the elbow or flex the wrist, usually while gripping a heavy object. Like a good backhand, tennis elbow takes time to develop. The first sign is usually soreness or a dull ache on the outside of the elbow joint that gets worse when you grasp something. Eventually, the pain may radiate down the top of your forearm, sometimes all the way to your wrist. Here are some tips that you can consider to adopt to relieve your elbow pain.
1. Pick Up Where You Left Off
You can ease back into your normal routine when your elbow no longer bothers you. As a general rule, there should be no pain associated with day-to-day tasks before you move on to something more demanding. Give yourself time to see how your elbow reacts. Don't overdo it just because you don't feel pain right away.
2. Use Soothing Strokes
Relaxing the surrounding muscles can take some of the pressure off an aching elbow. Gently massage the full length of your forearm muscle from your elbow to above your wrist, not just where you feel pain.
3. Try Homeopathy
The homeopathy remedy Ruta graveolens can help soothe a sore elbow. It is recommended taking a 6X dose every hour while your pain is severe, then three or four times a day as your condition improves. You will find Ruta graveolens in health food stores and wherever homeopathic remedies are sold.
4. Say "Ahhh" With Ice
Freeze some water in a paper cup, then peel back the top of the cup and rub the ice on your elbow in a circular motion for 5 to 7 minutes. Repeat this treatment at least two times a day for the first five days that you have pain.
5. Make Some Muscle
Once your elbow is on the mend, gentle strengthening and stretching exercises can help rehabilitate the joint and protect it from re-injury. It is recommended to give this move a try, but only after any pain and inflammation subsides. While holding a 2-pound dumbbell, rest your forearm on a tabletop, with your wrist extending over the edge and your palm facing down. Slowly raise and lower the dumbbell, moving your wrist through its full motion. Repeat 15 to 20 times, then change hands. Do the exercise three times a day. If you experience any pain, try switching to a lighter weight.
6. Brace Yourself
Try an elbow support. It prevents you from contracting the extensor muscle when you move your hand. It also reminds you to give the injured area a rest. You can buy one of these devices in a drugstore or a medical supply store.
7. Stick With An Old Standby
A non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as aspirin or ibuprofen can relieve pain and swelling. But you can stop taking medication once you resume a normal level of activity. You want to be aware of any pain that occurs so you know when you are straining the area.
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