How To Fix Severe Tennis Elbow


Are you suffering from severe tennis elbow? If so, you’re not alone. Tennis elbow is a common condition that affects many athletes and non-athletes alike. It’s caused by overuse of the muscles and tendons in the arm, which can lead to pain and discomfort. Fortunately, there are a number of treatments available that can help reduce your symptoms and get you back on track. In this article we’ll discuss how to fix severe tennis elbow, including recognizing the symptoms, resting and icing the area, stretching and strengthening the muscles, taking anti-inflammatory medication, and considering physical therapy or surgery if needed.

Recognize the Symptoms of Tennis Elbow

You may be experiencing some pain and stiffness in your arm – it could be an indication of something more serious, so it’s important to recognize the symptoms of this condition. Tennis elbow (or lateral epicondylitis) is a common overuse injury that affects the outside of the elbow joint. It is typically caused by repetitive motions such as swinging a racquet or lifting weights, and can range from mild soreness to severe pain and tenderness. Common signs and symptoms include pain that radiates from the outside of your elbow when gripping objects, difficulty extending your arm fully, weakness in your forearm muscles, decreased ability to grip things firmly, swelling at the point of injury, and feeling discomfort or a burning sensation when wearing braces or doing massage therapy.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms for more than a few days or weeks then it is important to seek medical advice for evaluation and treatment options. Your doctor will perform physical examinations and imaging tests to determine if you have tennis elbow. Treatment often involves resting the affected area, applying ice packs several times daily, taking anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen sodium (Aleve), using topical creams with capsaicin or menthol to reduce pain and inflammation around the tendon insertion points in the elbow area; utilizing physical therapy exercises specifically designed for strengthening weak muscles around the elbow joint; using bracing devices like wrist splints; receiving targeted massage therapy on tight muscles in arms; undergoing ultrasound treatments; using extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT); or even getting injections with corticosteroids directly into the inflamed area depending on severity level.

It is possible to recover from tennis elbow but treatment should start early before further damage occurs. Working closely with doctors who specialize in sports medicine can ensure proper diagnosis and treatment plan tailored specifically for you which can speed up recovery time significantly compared to self-treatment methods alone.

Rest and Ice the Area

Taking a break from your regular activities and applying a cold compress to the area can help ease some of the discomfort associated with severe tennis elbow. Exercise modifications, such as avoiding any activities that put strain on the affected arm or cause pain, can also be beneficial. Massage therapy may help to reduce inflammation in the area and improve range of motion by loosening tight muscles and tendons.

Heat, such as hot packs, should be avoided since it can aggravate symptoms. Anti-inflammatory medications or topical creams may also provide relief from pain; however, these should be discussed with your doctor first before taking them. Resting and icing the injured joint for 10 to 15 minutes several times a day is highly recommended for reducing swelling and providing temporary relief from pain.

In addition to rest and ice, wearing an arm brace or support bandage during activity can help take stress off of the injured joint while still allowing movement in other parts of your body. Physical therapy exercises may also be prescribed by your doctor depending on severity of injury; these are designed to strengthen weakened muscles around the elbow joint and restore normal range of motion without causing further damage.

Stretch and Strengthen the Muscles

Stretching and strengthening the muscles around your joint can help get your range of motion back to normal, relieving any discomfort and allowing you to move freely. Strengthening the tendons surrounding the affected area will help prevent further damage from occurring. Massage therapy is also beneficial in providing relief from tennis elbow by loosening up tight muscles, reducing inflammation, and improving circulation.

Range-of-motion exercises are key in helping you regain use of your arm without causing further injury. Start with gentle stretching exercises that gradually increase in intensity over time. Strengthening exercises such as wrist curls or isotonic exercises using weights or elastic bands can build muscle strength while avoiding strain on the elbow joint. This should be done slowly over time to avoid placing too much stress on the tendon at once.

It is important for people with tennis elbow to take regular breaks throughout their exercise routine and focus on proper form when performing movements to reduce the risk of injury or re-injury. Additionally, it may be helpful for those suffering from severe pain caused by tennis elbow to seek professional advice from a physical therapist who can provide specific guidance tailored to each individual’s needs.

Treat With Anti-Inflammatory Medication

Soothe your pain with anti-inflammatory medication, and get back to living your life without the discomfort. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are often recommended as an effective way to reduce pain and inflammation associated with tennis elbow. Ibuprofen and naproxen sodium are two of the most commonly used NSAIDs for treating tennis elbow. They can be taken in pill form or applied directly to the affected area as a topical cream. It is important to follow the instructions on the label carefully, as taking more than the recommended dose may have serious side effects.

In addition to NSAIDs, dietary supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin may also be beneficial in relieving pain associated with tennis elbow. These supplements work by stimulating production of cartilage and lubricating joints, which can help reduce swelling and improve flexibility in the affected area. Taking these supplements regularly along with a healthy diet rich in essential nutrients is key for maintaining joint health over time.

Therapeutic massage techniques like myofascial release can also help alleviate discomfort from tennis elbow by improving circulation around the injured tissue, reducing tension in muscles, and restoring range of motion. Be sure to consult with a trained massage therapist before trying any new therapy that you haven’t tried before; they will be able to advise you on what types of massage would best suit your needs depending on your specific condition and lifestyle habits.

Consider Physical Therapy or Surgery

If your pain persists despite taking anti-inflammatory medication, physical therapy or surgery may be necessary to get you back in action. Alternative therapies and lifestyle changes are important considerations when treating severe tennis elbow. Physical therapy may involve the use of electrical stimulation, ultrasound therapy, stretching, and strengthening exercises to reduce inflammation and improve muscle strength. Surgery can be used to repair any tissue damage in extreme cases where other treatments have failed.

It is important to note that physical therapy and surgery might not be the best options for everyone dealing with severe tennis elbow; this should only be done after a full evaluation by a medical professional who will determine the best course of action for your specific case. Before committing to either physical therapy or surgery as an option, it is also wise to consider alternative therapies such as acupuncture, massage, or chiropractic care. Additionally, making lifestyle changes such as taking frequent breaks from activities that cause pain and avoiding activities that put excessive strain on your elbow can help reduce symptoms of severe tennis elbow over time.

These alternative therapies and lifestyle modifications should always be discussed with a doctor before beginning treatment so they can provide guidance on how to proceed safely. If these methods do not offer relief after several weeks of trying them out, then it may be time to consider more aggressive treatments such as physical therapy or surgical intervention.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I do to prevent tennis elbow from occurring in the future?

In order to prevent tennis elbow from occurring in the future, it is important to incorporate strengthening and stretching exercises into your routine. Strengthening exercises such as bicep curls using light weights and wrist flexor stretches can help build muscle around the elbow joint. Stretching exercises like forearm pronation/supination can help increase flexibility of the affected muscles. Additionally, take care not to overuse your muscles by taking frequent breaks when engaging in activities that require repetitive motion of the arm or wrist. With a combination of both strengthening and stretching exercises, you can help protect yourself against future episodes of tennis elbow pain.

How long should I ice and rest my elbow?

If you’re suffering from severe tennis elbow, it is important to take time to rest and ice your elbow. Initially, you should try icing your elbow for 15-20 minutes every few hours. After a week or two of this routine, you can slowly reduce the amount of ice and begin incorporating stretching exercises into your treatment plan. Additionally, strengthening exercises such as wrist flexors and extensors can help promote healing in the elbow joint. Ultimately, the length of time that you spend resting and icing your elbow depends on how severe it is; however, a general guideline for recovery is about six weeks.

Are there any alternative treatments for tennis elbow?

You may find relief from the pain and discomfort of tennis elbow by trying alternative treatments such as stretching exercises and diet changes. Stretching exercises can help to reduce inflammation in the affected tendons while diet changes can provide important nutrients to support healthy tendon repair. It is important to consult your doctor before beginning any new exercise programs or making drastic dietary changes, so that you can ensure these treatments are safe for you.

What are the risks associated with physical therapy and surgery?

Physical therapy and surgery are treatments for severe tennis elbow that can help reduce pain, improve motion, and strengthen the muscles and tendons around the elbow. However, there are risks associated with these therapies. Exercise modifications, such as stretching and strengthening exercises targeting the forearm muscles and changing hand grip on activities like lifting or holding objects may cause more pain or stress to an already strained area. Ergonomic changes such as avoiding certain arm movements that aggravate your condition can also be uncomfortable. Additionally, you may experience side effects from medications prescribed for physical therapy or pre-surgical evaluation. Finally, surgery carries risks of infection, nerve damage, scarring, anesthesia risks and even joint stiffness after healing. It is important to discuss all available options with a healthcare provider before choosing physical therapy or surgery for treating severe tennis elbow.

How long does it take for tennis elbow to heal?

Healing from tennis elbow can take anywhere from several weeks to several months depending on its severity. Stretching exercises and correct posture can help speed up the recovery process. During the initial stages of healing, you may experience swelling in the elbow and a decrease in range of motion. With consistent physical therapy, however, your range of motion should gradually increase over time as your tissues heal and strengthen. To ensure optimal results, it is important to remain diligent with your stretching exercises and make sure you are maintaining good posture while performing any activities that involve the arm or shoulder muscles.


If you’ve been suffering from severe tennis elbow, it’s important to take action right away. Rest and ice the area, as well as stretch and strengthen the muscles that have been affected. Taking an anti-inflammatory medication can also help in reducing swelling and discomfort. If these methods don’t work, consider seeking professional help from a physical therapist or even surgery if necessary. Don’t let this injury keep you from doing the activities you love; take control of your situation today for a brighter tomorrow!