What Is Elbow Tendonitis?
Tendonitis is inflammation of a tendon and its surrounding ligaments, which can affect any joint. The most common cause of elbow tendonitis, also known as golfer’s elbow or tennis elbow, is repetitive movement. Other causes include falling and lifting heavy objects. Common symptoms include tenderness, swelling and crackling of the joint. Treatment options include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen and naproxen; injections into the tendon, such as corticosteroid or lidocaine; and elbow tendonitis home remedies.
Ice and Heat Therapy
When it comes to treating pain and discomfort, hot and cold packs are the two most common non-invasive methods that are inexpensive and easily available. Ice packs cause the blood vessels to constrict and the circulation to slow down, which reduces the inflammation and pain. To avoid skin and nerve damage, ice packs should never be applied directly to the skin or for longer than 15 minutes, according to Spine Universe. A towel or some type of barrier should be placed next to the skin for protection.
Heat applications increase the blood flow to the affected area, which delivers oxygen and nutrients and helps reduce muscle spasms and pain. Hot compresses may be dry or moist, and must be applied with a wrap to protect the skin from burning. A general rule of thumb for heat applications is for 20 minutes maximum. Check with your doctor about the benefits of alternating heat and ice throughout the day for your elbow pain.
Once a joint is injured, avoiding activities that stress the joint or add to the pain is critical to allow the healing to begin. Complete bed rest is not expected or encouraged as part of elbow tendonitis home remedies, but resting the elbow is important to allow the tissues of the affected area to heal. Enjoy activities that don’t put stress on the tendons in the elbow during the healing process.
Keep your elbow elevated above the level of your heart as much as possible to prevent or reduce the amount of swelling from tendonitis. Reducing the swelling will lower the amount of pain from the pressure against the nerves in the elbow. Combining various therapies, such as heat, cold and elevation work best in obtaining the highest level of pain relief.
Using a compression wrap supports the tendons and prevents fluid buildup and swelling in the joint. Compression wraps are most effective when used in conjunction with cold therapy. The wrap should not bind so tightly as to cut off circulation, but it should fit snugly enough to give joint and tissue support while limiting the buildup of fluid. Unwrap the compression during elevation to allow any fluid that has collected to dissipate.
Herbs and Supplements
The University of Maryland Medical Center notes that certain herbs and supplements are reported to provide support for healing and reducing inflammation, such as:
- Vitamin C
- Willow bark
- Vitamin E
Always check with your doctor before beginning any treatment using home remedies.
Spine Universe: Hot and Cold Therapies for Pain and Discomfort https://www.spineuniverse.com/treatments/physical-therapy/hot-cold-therapies-pain-discomfort
University of Maryland Medical Center: Tendonitis https://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/tendinitis-000163.htm