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Tennis Elbow

Homeopathic Treatment of Tennis Elbow or Lateral Epicondylitis

Every tennis player dreads a 'tennis elbow' or lateral epicondylitis, which often starts after trying out a new racket, stringing a racket too tightly or playing vigourously even after an injury. Some other activities that put excessive or repetitive stress on tendon attachments in the elbow include golfing, cricket, weight training, pitching balls, hanging wall paper and painting ceilings.

The allopathic or conventional mode of treatment is usually started off conservatively and worked up to more involved treatments. In allopathy, the doctors prescribe oral anti inflammatory medications to help control the pain and inflammation. Cortisone injections, i.e. a steroid, are given if oral anti inflammatory medicines fail. However, if the person has tried more than two cortisone injections without relief, it is unlikely that additional injections will benefit the patient. Finally, in the end, surgery is advised.

Sadly, all the above allopathic methods including pain killers, cortisone injections and surgery are associated with serious side effects, which everybody is aware of these days.

Here, homeopathic remedies can stop that nagging ache of tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis. Homeopathy is safe and effective. The homeopathic remedies help soothe a sore elbow. They reduce pain and inflammation. Homeopathy promotes the production of naturally occuring 'pain killers' in the body. Homeopathic remedies block pain signals, reduce stiffness and oedema in the joint and promote natural healing.

There are 9 homoeopathic medicines which give great relief in tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis. However, the correct choice and the resulting relief is a matter of experience and right judgment on the part of the homeopathic physician. The treatment is decided after a thorough case taking. Thus, homeopathic remedies for tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis are designer made unlike allopathy, in which all patients receive the same surgery or drugs (pain killers) - although trade names may be different.

What is Tennis Elbow or Lateral Epicondylitis ?

You do not have to play tennis to get tennis elbow. In fact, about 90% 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 down to your wrist.

Symptoms of Tennis Elbow or Lateral Epicondylitis

Anyone can be affected, but tennis elbow is most commonly seen in 2 groups of people :

  • Manual labourers : People who work with their hands are at greater risk of developing tennis elbow. Jobs that may lead to tennis elbow include plumbers, painters, gardeners, carpenters and so on.
  • Sports participants : Especially racquet sport players are prone to developing tennis elbow. About a third of regular tennis players experience tennis elbow at some point in their careers. In addition to racquet sports, tennis elbow is seen in golfers, fencers and other sports participants.

The person experiences :

  • Recurring pain on the outside of the upper forearm just below the bend of the elbow; occasionally, pain radiates down the arm towards the wrist.
  • Pain caused by lifting or bending the arm or grasping even light objects such as a coffee cup.
  • Difficulty extending the forearm fully (because of inflammed muscles, tendons and ligaments).
  • Pain that typically lasts for 6 to 24 weeks; the discomfort can continue for as little as 3 weeks or as long as several years.
Are Special Tests Needed to Diagnose Tennis Elbow ?

Not really any tests are needed.

X-rays of patients who have the diagnosis of tennis elbow are almost always normal. Other tests, such as EMG, are sometimes conducted if there is confusion about the diagnosis.

Other causes of pain over the outside of the elbow include include instability of the joint, elbow arthritis, and radial tunnel syndrome. The symptoms of these conditions are usually distinct, but in some cases they can be confusing.

Life Style Tips for Tennis Elbow or Lateral Epicondylitis

  • 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. Do not overdo it just because you do not feel the pain right away.
  • 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 the pain.
  • 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.
  • MAKE SOME MUSCLE : Once your elbow is on the mend, gentle strengthening and stretching exercises can help rehabilitate the joint and protect it from getting injured again.
  • 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.

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