Tennis elbow - treatment

How to treat a tennis elbow

In acute tennis elbow complaints the arm should be spared above all else. Therefore, the rule is: avoid possible burdens. Today, however, orthopedic surgeons and sports physicians recommend that you do not take too long to rest in order to prevent shortening of muscles, tendons and ligaments around the elbow.

Treatment: warm or cold

Just a few years ago, an acute tennis elbow was simply plastered. Although the protection of the affected arm is still one of the most important measures, but no gypsum is used for it, because the plaster is the affected muscles weakened so that soon after the loss of the same pain sets again.

Cold or warm applications with (ointment / healing earth) envelopes or compresses, as well as heat therapy with red light can have a positive effect. However, every patient has to find out for himself if he or she gets better from cold or warmth - which helps one person can even increase the pain in some cases.

Other methods of physical therapy include soft laser treatments, ultrasound, iontophoresis (a form of electrotherapy) or, more recently, extracorporeal shockwave therapy (EKST). In more severe cases, injecting with local anesthetics and / or cortisone may help.

Physiotherapy is important

If the microcracks heal in the course of a treatment, a shortened tendon insertion remains. Subsequent reloading can quickly lead to tears and discomfort. Therefore, it is particularly important to start with rehabilitation measures such as physiotherapy immediately after healing, in which the tendon insertion is carefully stretched again.

In addition, the physiotherapist can show the affected person the method of transverse friction (the setting of stretch stimuli across the tendon), which can then be carried out in-house at home.

Get to the bottom of the cause

It is advisable to get to the bottom of the cause - and eliminate it if possible. Athletes benefit from the Medical Training Therapy (MTT), where the muscles on special equipment are rebuilt under the guidance of trained physiotherapists without overloading the elbow. Operative measures are only in individual cases and after a long time consistently, but unsuccessfully performed conservative therapy in question.

Further measures with tennis or handicraft arm

  • Against the pain the herbal medicine knows some effective preparations: for taking St. John's wort, for applying / rubbing arnica or essential oils (eg lemon, bergamot, lavender).
  • Acupuncture has proven its worth - it is even recommended by the World Health Organization for this indication
  • Even homeopathy achieves success - in tennis elbow are depending on individual symptoms z. Ruta, Bryonia or Acidum fluoricum.
  • Enzymen is said to have a decongestant and anti-inflammatory effect. B. preparations with the pineapple enzyme bromelain or pancreatic enzymes.
  • In the case of a tendency to chronic tennis-arm complaints, a so-called epicondylitis bandage (cuff on the forearm near the elbow) can be put on as a precautionary measure if stressful activities are foreseeable. These reduce the pain by pressure and a punctual massage and prevent further inflammatory reactions.
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