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Treatment for Tennis Elbow Before, During, and After Matches

Sep 5, 2008
Tennis elbow is an over-use injury caused by small tears in the tendon of the elbow. As such, the best way to treat tennis elbow, and the only way to fully treat the underlying tennis elbow symptoms, is to avoid the activity and give the tendons time to heal. Of course, this is not always practical, so this article offers advice on how to minimize further damage, and to help aid recovery between aggravating activities.

Pre-Match:

* One-hour before the match, take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or naproxen. This will help manage the pain. Be careful of long-term use, as taking these medications for extended periods may lead to gastrointestinal problems.
* Start with a light cardiovascular warm-up to increase circulation before thoroughly stretching the biceps, triceps, forearm, and shoulder before beginning an activity that might aggravate the elbow.
* Keep the arm warm during warm-ups, and during activity, to ensure proper circulation.

During the Match:

* Use an counter-force elastic band to relieve pain during activity for some sufferers.
* Make sure your equipment is helping your elbow rather than hurting it. Stringing your racquet too tightly, or using a lightweight racquet may increase the chances of aggravating your tennis elbow.
* Again, keep the arm warm during warm-ups, and during activity, to ensure proper circulation.

Post-Match:

I'm sure you've heard some version of this, but P.R.I.C.E. (protection, rest, ice, compression, elevation) is the best way to aid recovery immediately after injury or reaggravating an injury (such as playing tennis while suffering from tennis elbow). However, since inflammation is typically not a symptom of tennis elbow, the 'compression' and 'elevation' steps are not as effective. If the area is swollen, then some other injury/condition may be the cause, and a visit to the doctor may be in order.

* Protection: avoid any activity that causes pain to the area, or may reaggravate the condition.
* Rest: modify activity to give the area time to recover (avoid strenuous activity).
* Ice: the sooner you can get ice on the area after activity, the better. Try to ice for 30 minutes every 3-4 hours during the first 48-hours after activity. Never place ice directly on the skin.
* Compression: not applicable in most cases.
* Elevation: again, not applicable in most cases.

Take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or naproxen to help manage post-activity pain. Again, avoid long-term use - which potentially may lead to gastrointestinal issues.
About the Author
William "Josh" Hohman has worked with a leading Sports Medicine physician to develop Cure Tennis Elbow in 6 Weeks - a step-by-step formula for getting tennis elbow pain under control - visit www.cure-tennis-elbow.com for more info.
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