The rest are people who perform repetitive arm movements for work or leisure, including manufacturing and construction workers, plumbers, landscapers, carpenters, mechanics, golfers, gamers, crafters and more.
Tennis elbow is caused by overuse of the muscles and tendons in the forearms, which, over time, can weaken the tendon and cause microscopic tears. This leads to inflammation and pain in the forearm and elbow. Symptoms appear gradually but typically worsen, and can include:
- Dull pain, achiness or sharp twinges in the elbow
- Difficulty gripping or lifting
- Pain when shaking hands, turning a doorknob, brushing teeth and cutting food
- Discomfort in wrist
- Numbness or tingling in fingers
The best tennis elbow pain relievers
Tennis elbow pain can range from nagging and periodic to severe and constant. In treating this condition, reducing pain is critical to restoring function.
Numerous treatment protocols exist, but some offer only temporary relief, while a few address healing the tendon to eliminate pain. Note that the best pain relievers for tennis elbow require a commitment over several months for optimum results.
Save yourself time and money by bypassing ineffective treatments and opting for one or several of these instead:
- Physical therapy – This can involve targeted stretches and strengthening exercises to improve forearm and tendon strength and enhance stability. Additional therapies, such as electro-stimulation or ultrasound (see below), may be incorporated.
- Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM) – Performed by a physical therapist or a chiropractor, this clinically proven protocol consists of manual, linear strokes using a metal instrument on the forearm to break up adhesions, enhance blood and oxygen flow to the tissue and stimulate cellular healing.
- Tennis elbow recovery device – New from Stā Active, Fiix Elbow program offers tennis elbow and golfer's elbow pain relief and healing. The first of its kind, it automates IASTM for convenient, at-home usage, with a simple protocol of 10 minutes per day, three times per week for eight weeks. The regimen also includes strengthening and strengthening exercises to promote the flow of blood and oxygen and enhance range of motion.
Second-best pain relieversOther ways to alleviate tennis elbow pain can be effective, but aren’t acknowledged as best here because they each serve primarily as temporary “band-aid” approaches, versus addressing the root of the problem.
- Rest – This is very effective but difficult to do long-term if pain is caused by movements associated with one’s job, such as hairdresser or painter.
- Ice and over-the-counter pain relievers – While these provide short-term reduction in inflammation, symptoms return after the effects wear off.
- Braces or straps – Using external supports limits movement to decrease the strain on the forearm muscles and tendons, but pain returns when braces are removed.
- Professional options – Electrostimulation (TENS) blocks pain signals from reaching the brain; ultrasound uses sound waves to improve circulation; and acupuncture reduces the perception of pain.
- Injections – Cortisone or platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections can alleviate pain for a few weeks to a few months but ultimately don’t heal the tendon.