Tennis elbow is a painful injury not just associated with playing tennis. It can be caused by any exercise or work you do using your arm or elbow and the symptoms can last for weeks. When tennis rackets were made of wood and metal in the 1960s and 1970s, painful elbow swelling was often the result of improper strokes on the court. Rackets today are made of much stronger materials and the sport is far less likely to cause serious tennis elbow. However, it remains a painful and debilitating condition.
Treat tennis elbow with ice packs. Put an ice pack on the point of your elbow and leave it in place for 15 minutes at a time. Do it twice a day for up to 10 days to reduce swelling.
Use heat packs to stimulate blood flow. Alternating heat packs and ice packs is a good strategy. Rest your elbow on a heating pad and turn the pad's heating level to medium. Use a heat pack for 15 minutes twice a day.
Have a friend or relative massage your arm. While you may feel the pain that is centered on the point of your elbow, you can also have pain in your forearm, wrist and fingers. A moderate massage can work wonders for the throbbing pain of tennis elbow. Use long, full strokes to improve circulation and relax the nerve endings.
Dip your elbow in a whirlpool for 10 to 15 minutes. The swirling water helps increase circulation.
Rest your elbow as much as possible. If you've damaged your elbow playing tennis, golf, softball or another sport, sit out for at least three days. Rest is beneficial for sore and damaged joints.