How to treat elbow tendonitis

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How to treat elbow tendonitis
Painful elbow tendinitis (www.flickr.com)

Elbow tendinitis is a painful condition caused by the swelling of the tendons that connect your lower arm muscles to the bone. It is also referred to as "tennis elbow" or "golf elbow," even though most cases of elbow tendinitis appear in factory workers. Any repetitive movement of that particular band of tendons can lead to elbow tendinitis. While overuse of the tendons can lead to pain and inflammation, a person's age can also make them more susceptible--tendons in the body lose their elasticity the older a person becomes. Symptoms of elbow tendinitis are inflammation and pain in the elbow area, as well as a burning sensation and possible stiffness. Elbow tendinitis can be treated at home to help promote healing in the affected area. Try these simple steps to be on your way toward pain relief and stronger tendons.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Ice packs
  • Arm brace
  • Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory
  • Light stretching exercises

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Rest. Avoid the action that is causing your elbow tendinitis. If it is a sport, try an alternate sport for exercise. For example, if you play tennis, take up swimming or bicycling while you are letting your tendinitis heal.

  2. 2

    Place an ice pack on the elbow and lower arm area. This will help relieve both the pain and the swelling that is a result of the inflammation in the tendons. Leave the ice pack on for at least 20 minutes, three times a day. Using an ice pack up to six times a day is ideal, but not always practical depending upon your daily schedule. An ice pack can even be applied at work during your breaks, as well as in the evening when you are watching TV.

    How to treat elbow tendonitis
    Ice pack on elbow
  3. 3

    Wear an arm brace or elbow brace to add support to the tendon while it is healing. The brace should be worn below the elbow, down the forearm, as this is where the muscles connect.

    How to treat elbow tendonitis
    Wearing a brace slightly below elbow
  4. 4

    Take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drug, such as aspirin or ibuprofen. This will not only relieve some of the inflammation and help the tendon to heal, it will also provide you some much-needed pain relief, even if only temporary.

  5. 5

    Perform gentle stretching exercises upon waking and before retiring for the evening. Lightly stretch the area of your arm that stiffens up. These stretches should also be done at work while you are on a break. If while doing these stretches you experience sudden pain, stop immediately.

Tips and warnings

  • If you find no relief with your elbow tendinitis, contact your physician to make sure you are properly diagnosed.
  • If you are on any other medications, or have an existing medical condition, check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory to make sure there will be no harmful drug interactions.

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