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
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
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- 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.