Author: Fay

Fay Martinez, PhD, is Carmona Nutrition’s director of curriculum. She leads the development of the organization’s educational programs and courses.

Does Applying Heat Help Tennis Elbow Or Make Things Worse

Tennis elbow injuries are on the rise at a rapid pace. People are willing to do anything to dull the pain and get relief from it. So the question of the day is: does heat help tennis elbow or can it actually make it worse?

What really happens when you apply heat to your skin? First, it will immediately flood the area with blood. Your body will force blood away from other parts of your body and send it to the area which has heat applied to it, in this case your elbow.

Anytime you apply something warm/hot to your body, you immediately get a feeling of comfort and relief. You actually start to forget about your pain and discomfort to focus on the area which is being heated.

When you suffer from any sort of muscle or tendon pain/injury, it can be a direct result of a lack of healthy, oxygentaed blood. In order for a tendon or muscle to start healing in needs lots of rich new blood.

Aggravating your tennis elbow injury causes the “good” blood to disappear, which decreases blood circulation. This is when your the pain in your elbow comes back and your elbow may feel stiff and sore.

So is heat good for tennis elbow? In my opinion yes. Anything you can do to improve blood flow to a damaged muscle/tendon tissue, only good things can happen. This will help speed up your recovery process and improve arm movement.

But is it enough and will heat alone be enough to help tennis elbow sufferers fully recover?

The short answer is No. It is simple one aspect of the recovery process and should be used in conjunction with a treatment program for tennis elbow. Sure applying heat helps control your pain but it doesn’t really help repair the damaged tendon. You know this because when you the heat has been removed from your elbow for a few minutes, your pain comes back.

For individuals who have just discovered that they have tennis elbow (2-3 weeks in), heat can really help get your pain under control. It won’t stop your elbow from getting worse, especially if you continue with arm movements that aggravate the muscles, tendons and flexors of your wrist, forearm and elbow. This will only help in the short term.

When you are in the early stages of tennis elbow, you may only notice some discomfort every now and then. And it really doesn’t interfere too much with your day. You may get home after work and notice your elbow pain increasing and reach for the heat. Does this help or perhaps make your condition worse? Probably worse because …

The heat is giving you temporary relief but structurally the small tears in your extensor tendon are probably growing larger by the day. This is when you will start to notice an increase in elbow inflammation. Great inflammation, I bet you are thinking ice and does it help fight tennis elbow.

Basic first aid for any sort of muscle/tendon injury, especially for one that swells immediately is to apply ice. Check out the article below to see if the same applies for tennis elbow injuries.

Article: How and Where to Apply Ice for Tennis Elbow

Heat works ok for pain but when inflammation kicks in, you need another plan. Ok, so you’re applying the heat, lots of fresh, nutrient blood is heading to your elbow but what happens when you take it away. Inflammation builds up with fluid that is toxic and detrimental to your recovery.

Fluid that gets trapped in your elbow in the inflammation stage, inhibits the access of rich nutrients to your elbow’s damaged tissues. So in the end, the application of heat is really no good and will not help tennis elbow.

Then there is the question of: does massage help tennis elbow?

When you massage a muscle, again this draws blood to the area. Just like heat, a dose of new blood to structures and tissues that are strained or torn, is like water on a plant in Arizona in July. It sucks it right up! But is massage enough is it another piece of the puzzle when it comes to treating tennis elbow?

The best part about this massage technique for tennis elbow is that you don’t have to worry about making an appointment with a certified massage therapist. It is simple enough to do on yourself at home.

What about the latter stages of tennis elbow or perhaps for the individuals who are suffering from tennis elbow for a second or even third time around? Should heat be part of your daily pain relief program?

For pain relief yes but as I already mentioned, if you have been suffering from tennis elbow for a few months or have it again, heat is not going to be what gets you over the finish line. In other words, you need to be more aggressive if you ever really want to put your pain and suffering behind you.

One of the most vital mistakes that tennis elbow sufferers make is waiting too long for treatment. As with most injuries, the sooner you get treatment, the faster you can potentially get better.

Tennis elbow can be cured and beaten but what works cannot be found in a store or at your local pharmacy. What I am referring too here is that there is no prescription that your Doctor can write which will cure your tennis elbow. Drug companies have not yet come up with a pill for you to take which will regenerate your extensor tendon.

As for immobilizing your affected arm with some sort of strap or bandage, good luck with that! I can tell you that it will set your recovery back even further because it not only restricts healthy blood flow but it make the supporting forearm flexor and extensor muscles weaker because they are constricted by the brace, strap or band. Hence they don’t need to work as hard. These muscles go into dormant mode so when you remove the brace, your arm feels like it has been shot up with Novacane.

So what should you do for your injury now that you know that heat does help with tennis elbow pain but will not accelerate your recovery and cure it?

It requires a little effort on your part but if you have 5 minutes every other day, you can cure your tennis elbow at home in just steps while sitting in front of your computer. This video explains everything you need to know and how you can get started within the next 2 minutes.

Bowlers Elbow: Is It the Same As Tennis Elbow or Different Altogether

The game of bowling is enjoyed by people of all ages. From 5 year olds rolling the ball between their legs with the aid of lane bumpers to help them down the alley to professional bowlers who do it for the the love of the game and of course the prize money.

But like any sport, too much of a good thing can come at a cost. A common injury that affects individuals who bowl is bowlers elbow. It is not an injury that only develops in professional bowlers either.

Recreational bowlers who play two or more times a week are also at risk of suffering this injury. It doesn’t matter of you play 5 or 10 pin bowling, the risk and present danger is real.

This kind of harm is normally depicted as constant pain on the outside of the your swing arm. More specifically the upper forearm and small bony node on the outer part of the elbow. The medical and common name give to this area is the lateral epicondyle. It is where your extensor tendon attaches to your arm bone(elbow).

So what should you do if you start to notice bowlers elbow pain and discomfort?

It is best to first address your technique. The best advice you can get is from a local pro. When you bowl, there are two principle things to consider, your grasp on the ball and your swing plane. Is it true that it is conceivable that you are grasping the ball to tight or loose?

When you grasp excessively tight on the ball, you put amazing strain and weight on your wrist flexor/extensor tendons which append at the elbow. This simple action of grasping firmly on the ball can result in little micro tears of the extensor tendon where it connects to the side epicondyle of the elbow. Overtime, the tear can get larger and larger. As this happens, your pain will increase more and more. It may get so bad that you won’t be capable of gripping the bowling ball, let alone throw it down the alley for a strike.

At first you may notice some swelling and inflammation but that will quickly go away after 2 weeks, even though your injury is still present.

Does swing path and release matter? You bet it does!

When it comes to individuals who bowl recreationally, their back swing and release of the ball is practically straight back and forward. There is very little wrist, forearm and elbow rotation, it’s very much straight. People with this kind of back swing have low rates of bowlers elbow because of the little strain on the wrist and forearm extensors.

Then you have the more aggressive bowlers who like to impress and put spins on the ball. These individuals are in the high risk group for getting bowlers elbow. If you think about the mechanics involved with having to put a spin on the ball, you quickly realize that it can cause injury.

In order to spin the bowling ball, your backswing has to arc behind your back and then come across your body as you release the ball. In order to keep this swing plane, you need to grip down tightly on the ball which engages the wrist extensors and puts them under severe strain. This strain on your wrist tendons, flexors and ligaments as your forearm and elbow begins to rotate inwards and twist even as have a tight grasp on the ball is a deadly combination. Professional bowlers regularly allude to this sort of ball discharge and finish as chicken wing-in it. And when you see someone doing it, the name is perfect.

Read: Causes of Elbow Pain While Twisting Your Arm and Wrist

If you are suffering with bowlers elbow pain, I propose you adhere to the customary bowlers swing and release – straight back and down. Grasping down on the ball tight and attempting to produce turn and spin on the ball will in the long run put you in danger of creating this injury.

Then there is the weight of the ball you are throwing over and over again. Perhaps upwards of 100 times per day!

This is also an issue that needs to be addressed. What happens when you are constantly throwing a ball that is too heavy for you? Well a heavier ball requires a tighter grip, which means your extensor tendons are put to the test. A good way to tell if the ball is too heavy for you is to remember how many times you “drop” the ball on your release versus a smooth release down the lane. If you are hearing a large bang when you release the ball, it is probably too heavy. Drop down a little on the weight of the ball, your elbow will love you for it!

Is bowlers elbow the same condition as tennis elbow? Absolutely!

They are both characterized as a dull aching pain on the outside of the elbow that gets worse when you grip or hold down tightly on an object.

Fresh Article: How Do You Get Tennis Elbow: 4 Ways It Can Happen

The test for tennis elbow and bowlers elbow are exactly the same when performed in a Doctor’s office or hospital. They are both repetitive strain injuries that are caused by repetitive arm movements and actions – usually of your dominant arm.

So what about treatment for bowlers elbow? to no surprise is it precisely the same as you treat tennis elbow!

Most people don’t even realize that you can fully heal and cure bowlers/tennis elbow at home.

You don’t need to shell out several dollars of your well deserved money on specialists or physio. Disregard washing down fistfuls of mitigating pills once a day that just cover your agony. Never need to wear any sort of brace or splint on your wrist or elbow.

All it truly takes to totally cure your bowlers and tennis elbow are easy steps you can do while sitting at home watching TV.

Even better is that this self-treatment program is at your pace and literally takes minutes every other day to do. AND you don’t have to give you bowling as you go through the treatment program.

Want to learn more about this brand-new program that has been healing individuals just like you at a rapid pace? Go here and watch the video tutorial and see for yourself.

Best Chipped Elbow Bone Practices and Advice

Everyone has at least once, struck their elbow on an entrance way, wall, floor or some other hard surface and promptly experienced sharp pain in the bone. Most individuals allude to this as hitting their funny bone. For many the pain subsides within a couple of minutes. However in some cases, you may have actually chipped your elbow or cracked the bone. What should you do and will it recuperate and show signs of improvement if left alone to heal?

There are some best chipped elbow bone practices and advice you show learn and become familiar with before you start shelling out money on hospital visits or worrying about going under the knife for elbow surgery.

As with sort of extremity injury, the first step is to immediately apply ice – this is simple first aid stuff. This will help dull the pain and help decrease the swelling in your elbow. If the pain and/or swelling does not subside within 24 hours, then please get to your hospital as soon as possible as medical professionals will most definitely need to x-ray your elbow to rule out a broken or cracked bone.

Below is a picture of what a chipped right humerus elbow bone looks like on an x-ray:

Did you know that your elbow is formed by the connection of 3 bones? The humerus bone which runs from your shoulder down to your elbow. The ulna and radius bones run up/down your forearm and connect at the elbow as well.

The 3 bones are held together at the joint by tendons, muscles and ligaments. This permits your elbow joint to move freely and maintains stability.

When you strike or hit your funny bone, you’re really not hitting your elbow bone whatsoever. The shivering feeling is really an after effect of hitting the ulnar nerve that runs down within your arm close to your elbow from your neck to your hand. When you strike your ulnar nerve it gets pressed or squeezed against your humerus bone(upper arm bone) and you get a “pins and needles” feeling in your elbow/arm. This sensation and feeling usually goes away after 2 or 3 minutes.

If the pain does not subside with 30 mins, it is possible that you have sprained your elbow. Go here to read about the recommended recovery time for a sprained elbow.

There are many ways in which you can chip or crack the bone in your elbow. The usual two ways are from direct or indirect blows.

A direct blow to the elbow can be from a fall onto a hard surface where the brunt of the force is take at your elbow. You could also be hit with a hard object such as bat, shovel, stick. There are cases of people chipping their elbow from car crash roll overs.

Rarely does it occur whereby someone causes a bone chip when they outstretch their arm to break their fall and the suffer a dislocation of their elbow. Although not considered a bone chip, this is a serious and painful injury that will require immediate medical help.

It is possible in some cases that your elbow pain does not go away. In a worst case scenario, it is possible that you’ve really chipped one of the bones in your elbow. It is then you start to experience some chipped or broken elbow bone symptoms such as swelling and you are not able to move your arm/bend your elbow like you used to.

On the off chance that you’ve really taken a chip out of your elbow, you will most likely have to see a surgeon. Chipping the bone requires a hard, blunt strike to the bone. Most Doctors simply refer to it as a broken arm as opposed to a broken elbow.

Symptoms you can expect when your elbow is chipped can include any or all of the following:
• Discomfort at the location of the strike or fall.
• Inability to use your arm as you normally would.
• Decrease in your arm’s range of motion.
• Inflammation and swelling of your affected arm.

Some people can actually feel the chipped piece of bone under their skin. It may even distend a little and be greatly delicate to the touch. In the event that you can really feel the bone drifting around under the skin, I suggest you take a trek to your closest clinic and be seen by a specialist.

The Doctor or specialist will immediately do the following:
• Observe the injured area and look for any signs of swelling, bruising or contusions.
• Get you to point to the area where you have the most pain.
• Ask you to wiggle your fingers of your affected arm.
• Ask you to extend your arm fully to see if you have pain.

Next you will have a x-ray to discover the affected area of your chipped elbow. Contingent upon the size of the chip and area, you may oblige surgery to expel the chip from your elbow. It may take a few weeks for your issue that has yet to be resolved and chip to “develop back”. The specialist may prescribe that your arm be put into a cast to minimize development and quicken the recuperation and healing time.

So as you can tell from this article, a chipped bone in your elbow is very much the same as a broken arm. The steps that a Doctor normally takes to diagnose it and treat it are almost identical.

So what can you do for a chipped and cracked elbow bone? With respect to treatment, after the bone has recuperated and your arm cast has been cut off, you will require particular elbow and arm strengthening exercises. The best kind of activity standard to take after to help recuperate from a chipped elbow bone are the ones recommended for tennis elbow injuries. We know that the only way to overcome these types of injuries is by focusing on the tennis elbow muscles and learning how to strengthen them.

All it truly takes are 5 straight forward tennis elbow treatment steps for a chipped elbow bone that you can perform and take after from the solace and accommodation of your own home. Also the best part is that you can sit in your comfortable seat and do them while viewing your most loved TV program.

Understanding the Tennis Elbow Injury

You don’t have to be Roger Federer or Serena Williams to suffer an injury of the muscles and tendons of the elbow, because despite its name, it can be caused by any repetitive force or tension in the area, such as housekeeping chores and even the practice of other sports, like baseball or swimming.

The medical name for this injury is epicondylitis (which can be of the lateral or medial kind), so it’s understandable that it is better known for its colloquial name, tennis elbow, even though tennis players add up to less than 5% of the people who suffer this injury.

However, statistics change dramatically within the tennis players population since, up to 50% of players have suffered or will suffer a tennis elbow injury. This is because of the constant use of the racket with a not very refined technique, especially on the backhand stroke, which causes an excessive tear of the joint until the tendons or tissues that connect muscles to bones are torn.

90% of epicondylitis cases are of the lateral kind, and are manifested as pain that starts on the outside or inside the elbow and radiates up or down along the forearm. It is more common in adults and may be caused by repetitive actions that force the wrist to work; i.e. when using a screwdriver, knife or even doing housekeeping chores.

Furthermore, the medial type is characterized by pain on the inside of the arm, is common in professional tennis players and is caused by the forehand stroke. It can also occur during the practice of other sports including swimming, golf and baseball, as well as people carrying heavy objects and because of that it is also known as baseball player’s elbow or “trunk” elbow.

It’s safe to say that in every epicondylitis case, intense pain is felt over the elbow and it can expand to the muscle of the forearm. Even though this discomfort may occur only when you make an effort or movement to lift objects or repeat an action for a long period of time, it is also a sign of lack of strength in the forearm.

Tennis elbow can be diagnosed through the manifestation of symptoms or by an expert exploring the joint, and if there are any doubts an x-ray may be requested to make sure the bone has not suffered a small fracture.

The tennis elbow injury does not always appear spontaneously, because sometimes there’s some pain that lets you know something is wrong; even if the pain is not very intense there is inflammation. This is when you should discontinue sports or activities that cause discomfort, take anti-inflammatory medication and apply ice daily for 20 minutes until the discomfort disappears.

What if the pain doesn’t go away?

If, however, the swelling or pain grow stronger or don’t disappear, we recommend applying ice, bandage the joint, and go to the doctor. Treatment and recovery depend on how inflamed the tendon is (the longer the pain lasts, the longer the recovery), and consists of the elbow being at rest, administration of anti-inflammatory medication and a program of exercises to do at home or rehabilitation center. Only in very extreme cases surgery is needed.

It is worth mentioning that in order to prevent the painful tennis elbow you should improve the joint movements, i.e. lifting heavy objects with both hands and in the case of athletes, stretching before exercising or playing; and of course don’t forget to practice the proper striking techniques.

Note also that this kind of injury don’t depend on whether or not you warm up before playing or the very moment of the game, so the best way to prevent them is through a constant flexibility training routine (like yoga) and the strengthening of the tendons.

Back to top