Are you looking for elbow pain relief? We’re sharing the best non-surgical natural treatments.
There are many possible reasons why your elbow hurts such as arthritis, bursitis, dislocations, fractures, sprains, strains, and tendinitis. But you’re probably most familiar with lateral epicondylitis or tennis elbow, which is caused by overuse of arm, forearm, and hand muscles.
But you’re probably most familiar with lateral epicondylitis or tennis elbow, which is caused by overuse of arm, forearm, and hand muscles.
But it’s not just tennis players or athletes who suffer from this painful elbow condition. Painters, plumbers, carpenters, auto workers, cooks, and butchers are also prone to developing tennis elbow since all of them tend to use repetitive motions that cause damage to the tendons.
If you’re suffering from tennis elbow, check out our natural elbow pain relief guide.
You can try all elbow pain relief methods known to man but if you don’t rest your elbow, it will continue to hurt.
If work prevents you from completely resting your elbow, your next best option is to wear a brace, which limits the stress placed on the elbow by restricting its range of movement.
Heat and ice
You can use heat and ice treatments for elbow pain relief.
To apply heat, you can use heat pads, deep heat creams, heat lamps, and hot water bottles. You can also fill a bag or sock with oats or rice then microwave it for up to a minute.
As for ice packs, you can apply one to your sore elbow for not more than 10 minutes. According to Patient, ice causes a longer-lasting effect on the circulation than heat. Its painkilling properties are also deeper and longer-lasting.
Both heat and ice can be reapplied after an hour if needed.
One of the best home remedies for elbow pain is massage. Done properly, it can relieve pain and inflammation by improving blood circulation to the sore area.
You can use avocado or calendula oil to massage the affected elbow. Make sure you use gentle strokes.
Vigorous movements can worsen the pain and delay the process of healing.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce inflammation and help lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and arthritis, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC).
Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids include fatty fish such as tuna, mackerel, and salmon, walnuts, and flaxseed.
Other pain relieving foods you can try are cherries, hot peppers, edamame, and ginger.
French fries, potato chips, hash browns, etc. are yummy but for elbow pain relief, you will use a baked potato wrapped in a cloth or towel.
Place the potato pack on your sore elbow to reduce swelling and pain.
Fenugreek seeds, turmeric, ginger, and broccoli have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties.
To use as a paste, you can mix powdered fenugreek seeds with milk, turmeric with coconut oil, ginger powder with water, and ground broccoli with water.
Apply your paste of choice on the affected elbow once or twice a day until the pain subsides.
Juices and teas
If you don’t like pastes and poultices, you can try fresh juices and teas.
Pineapples contain bromelain, an enzyme that reduces swelling and relaxes muscles.
It is also used for preventing muscle soreness after intense exercise. You can drink fresh pineapple juice daily or eat them whole.
Pineapples are rich in vitamin C, which is essential for building collagen.
You can also drink ginger tea or fresh celery juice. To make celery juice, you can dilute the seeds in warm water or add 8-10 drops of celery extract in warm water.
People have been applying cabbage leaves to swollen joints and other similar painful conditions since antiquity. Until now, breastfeeding mothers use them to relieve engorgement and inflamed ducts.
For elbow pain relief, apply cold cabbage leaves on the sore elbow for 12 hours. You can also soak cabbage leaves in icy water, apply it to the elbow, and cover with a cotton cloth.
Elbow pain relief: prevention is better than cure
Keeping your arm muscles strong and flexible is the best way to prevent tennis elbow. And you do this, of course, by exercising.
Below are some stretching and strengthening exercises you can do to prevent tennis elbow:
- Wrist flexor stretch – With your palm facing down, grasp underside of fingers with your other hand. Remember not to bend your elbow. Pull your wrist upward and back toward the forearm. Hold the stretch for 10-15 seconds, then repeat with the opposite arm.
- Wrist extensor stretch – With your palm facing downward, pull wrist and fingers downward toward the forearm. Straighten your elbow until you feel a stretch in your forearm. Hold for 10-15 seconds. Repeat with the opposite arm.
- Ball or sock squeeze – You can use a balled-up sock or a tennis ball. Hold it in your hand and squeeze tightly for about 6 seconds. Relax for up to 10 seconds, then repeat up to 8 times.
- Wrist deviation – With a dumbbell, bend your wrist such that the weighted side is pulled upward. Lower until the weighted side is pointing downward then repeat.
- Wrist curls – You can do standing or seated wrist curls. To perform a standing wrist curl, hold a barbell with both hands. Your palms should be facing backward. Slowly lift the weight, using the forearm muscles correctly to bring the hand up as far as possible.
- Bicep curls – Start with a dumbbell in each hand at arm’s length. Make sure you keep your elbows close to your torso and your palms should face forward. Curl the weights while contracting your biceps. Make sure to really squeeze your biceps. Hold the slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.
Don’t forget to always warm up with some wrist circles and hand flips before your workout.
Other ways you can prevent tennis elbow include:
- Keeping fit and using the correct techniques and movement during activities.
- Working out your shoulders and upper back. Strengthening these muscles will help take stress off of your elbow.
- Using equipment tailored to your body size and strength.
- Alternating hands during activities, when possible.
- Learning techniques that won’t stress your elbow such as lifting with the palm of your hand facing upwards.
Are you suffering from elbow pain? Do you need non-narcotic, non-surgical pain management advice?
Allow us to help. Contact us for more details.