Outlined below is a simple treatment and rehabilitation program for Tennis Elbow based on reducing pain and inflammation, stretching, strengthening and returning to full fitness.
The following guidelines regarding Tennis Elbow are for information purposes only. We recommend seeking professional advice before attempting any rehabilitation.
A number of treatment methods are available in the rehabilitation of tennis elbow. In order to maximize the chance of a successful rehabilitation, it is important to apply as many as you can and continue use throughout the return to activity phase and beyond.
It is also important throughout the rehabilitation process to maintain fitness in ways that do not stress the elbow, for example cycling or running so long as it is not painful.
Reducing Pain and Inflammation
- Rest from activity that causes pain. If you are a tennis player then stop playing. It is not just tennis that causes this injury or may aggravate it. Gripping anything tightly or for long periods may make it worse, even opening heavy doors.
- Cold therapy should be applied in the early stages - first couple of days. This can ease the pain, reduce swelling, reduce bleeding (initially) and encourage blood flow (later). Do not apply ice directly to the skin as this may cause ice burns - wrap in a wet tea towel.
- Wear a brace, support or heat retainer. This will give support and help prevent further injury. Increasing heat after the initial acute stage will stimulate blood flow and aid healing.
- NSAID's (Non Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs) such as Ibuprofen can help reduce pain and inflammation, especially in the early stages. It is thought they are less helpful later in the rehabilitation process. Always check with a Doctor before taking medication. You should not take Ibuprofen if you have asthma.
- This phase will usually take from 2 days to 2 weeks.