Tennis Elbow Pain

How to Manage Tennis Elbow Pain

Tennis elbow, although not always constantly painful or very severe pain, needs to be treated and properly managed because one of the main symptoms is pain brought on by movement. This means tennis elbow can get in the way of everyday activities because everything that involves lifting, extending your fingers, twisting your arm or using your grip which can cause discomfort. Examples of daily activities include using a door handle, holding a coffee cup, weight lifting, holding a tennis racket or tennis balls (hence the name as it's common in those who play tennis).

Tennis elbow infographic

As you can imagine that affects quite a lot of things so if your job involves a lot of repetitive motion or actions or you play sports that primarily depend on your arms such as racket sports, then you're bound to irritate the tendon even further leading to it becoming more inflamed.

You should always consult a physician or sports medicine professional if you think you have an acute or overuse injury, especially if the pain is constant to receive accurate physical therapy. In the case that no one qualified is available, you can use basic injury management to help care for your tennis elbow, manage the pain and recover better. 

Thankfully, tennis elbow can be treated very easily unless it's a severe case which sometimes requires surgery or cortisone injections. 

Rest is the most important factor when talking about recovery from an overuse injury and this is a key part of injury management principles, the POLICE principle is a simple principle to follow. It stands for Protection, Optimal Loading, Ice, Compression and Elevation but there is a more up-to-date version of this which is PEACE AND LOVE; the only really important addition that it covers is avoiding inflammatories. 

Videos Guides for Kinesiology Taping and Tennis Elbow exercises 


Kinesiology Taping for Tennis Elbow 

This video is from John Gibbons, who is a multi-published author, lecturer and a very experienced osteopath.

For sports therapists and other sports medicine professionals interested in more of his work, we sell his Practical Guide to Kinesiology Taping book which is a great resource for learning and future reference. 

In this video, he demonstrates how to apply Kinesiology tape for tennis elbow symptoms which involves using two strips cut into the shape shown in the video.

The tape extends from the fingers all the way up to the damaged tendon with another piece of tape used to lift the skin more and support the joint better. 

How to apply Kinesiology Tape for Tennis Elbow

This video demonstrates another example of how to apply Kinesiology Tape for Tennis elbow, you might notice that it's a slightly different approach as it doesn't use the fingers as an 'anchor' for the first strip of tape. 

This makes the tape a lot easier and quicker to apply and avoids restricting wrist movement so you have more control over your arm.

You may however find that it's not as effective as the previous method demonstrated. 

Tennis Elbow Exercises 

This video is from Graham Anderson who is a professional tennis coach that has worked at the ATP and with many professional tennis players.

 Graham uses resistance bands identical to our fitness bands which we mentioned earlier for Tennis elbow.

These exercises aim to strengthen the most important parts of the arm that will help you to avoid getting Tennis elbow again 

Elbow strengthening exercises 

These exercises use resistance bands as well and like the previous exercises, this is a guide for strengthening your whole arm; from the shoulder to the wrist.

As mentioned in the video, it is easy to exercise the flexors but it's a lot harder to exercise the extensors. 

You might notice that simple hand strengthening exercises are extremely good for your arms but this shouldn't be too surprising given that a lot of the arm muscles and ligaments work together in order to perform simple arm movements. 

Tennis Elbow Pain Relief 

Ice pack for tennis elbow

Hot and Cold Pack 

As mentioned above, the easiest way to treat tennis elbow is with ice, it acts as an anti-inflammatory which is perfect because the damaged tendon becomes inflamed and irritated.

This type of treatment will help with pain relief and easing your tennis elbow but it will actually slow down the recovery process a bit as swelling helps to promote the healing process so try not to use anti-inflammatories unless you really have to. 

You should also try to avoid using heat as a treatment option because it will only make the inflammation worse and make your elbow more painful.

Elbow strap with ice pack

Elbow Strap with Hot and Cold Pack 

This tennis elbow strap is a great option for athletes or sports enthusiasts because it is designed specifically for maximum comfort during any type of physical activity.

This is because of the material used which is neoprene free and made from a foam-like material instead, it also has COOLMAX AIR technology which makes it breathable as a compression bandage. 

It even comes with a mini hot and cold pack which fits in a convenient little pouch and this makes it easier to treat your tennis elbow while also providing proper medical compression and support.  

Elbow strap for tennis elbow

Mueller Tennis elbow strap 

The Mueller tennis elbow strap is another great recommendation if you are looking for a support or brace.

It's designed specifically for tennis elbow and Mueller has an amazing reputation for producing some of the highest quality sports healthcare solutions and products so it's definitely a good option to consider.  

Episport - tennis elbow support

Actimove Tennis Elbow Strap

This Tennis elbow brace is similar to other straps already covered in this guide except it is more of a clasp. 

Here's a review from one of our customers that speaks for itself:

Actimove Epi Sport Small Tennis Elbow

I have tried other supports for tennis elbow but this really seems to help. Very pleased. Easy to use and good for both tennis elbow and golfer's elbow.

Awarri
12 May 2022

Other customers have left similar reviews saying that it really helped, made a difference and how surprised they were at the results 

Ice power cold gel

Cold gel 

We mentioned earlier that cold therapy anti-inflammatories like a cold pack can help with easing the pain and managing any swelling associated with Tennis elbow. Ice power is a great topical solution for this.

It is convenient as well because you can take it on the go with you in case you're expecting to do something that might aggravate the damaged tendon or if the discomfort is really bad. 

Kinesiology Tape

Kinesiology Tape 

Kinesiology tape is an effective pain relief tool used by sports therapists and physical therapists for a wide range of injuries and treatments including Tennis elbow. 

It's pretty easy to apply, you just need to learn how to tape for a specific overuse or acute injury. We have a video below which shows you how you can apply Kinesio tape for Tennis elbow. 

Kinesiology tape isn't only good for pain relief, it's also useful for lymphatic drainage which it does by slightly lifting the skin.

Other benefits include improved circulation and not restricting mobility or range of motion which is important in conditions such as Tennis elbow.

Zinc Oxide Tape

Zinc oxide tape 

The tape is not directly helpful with pain relief but it's good for injury management because it's used to help support the joint and restrict movement.

This will help you in the early days of your arm pain because it will help you to rest the elbow joint by restricting it and the extra support will take some weight off the muscles, elbow joint and elbow tendons. 

Resistance bands

Resistance Bands

Although resistance bands are not exactly pain relief tools, they can help to manage your tennis elbow and can help you to avoid injuring your elbow again or causing damage to the tendon in the future. 

Some of the exercises shown in the videos below use resistance bands as a tool for muscle strengthening.

Resistance bands are the most effective tools for muscle strengthening and they are used widely in physical therapy, rehabilitation and injury management. 

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