Tennis elbow is a condition that will eventually get better over time, the length of time will be determined by how much you are using the arm in the way in which it was damaged in the first place. This may mean you will need to stay off certain activities indefinitely for a period of around 6-8 weeks. This could be shorter or longer depending on what state the injury is in.
However, there are treatments that can be used to speed up your recovery and ultimately help alleviate symptoms while you recover.
The first stage in any recover is REST. It is important you rest your injured arm and stop doing the activity that’s caused the problem in the first instance.
ICE – Apply a cold compress to the injured arm, such as a bag of frozen peas or a sports ice pack / gel pack for a few minutes several times a day, this will reduce inflammation and ease the pain. Some people have great success with contrast bathing the area so for example, icing the joint itself (the bony / tendinous areas) and using heat on the muscular areas such as Forearm to relax the muscles and speed up recover.
PAINKILLERS – Taking Paracetamol to ease the pain and Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory’s such as Ibuprofen to reduce the inflammation can help greatly whilst in recovery.
MASSAGE – Asking your personal Sports Therapist / Massage Therapist to perform massage on the arm offering STR (Soft Tissue Release) as well as general massage to relax the area and stimulate blood flow can really help to speed up recovery and make you feel better.
PHYSIOTHERAPY – Physiotherapy should be considered with other conservative treatment options especially for more severe and persistent cases.
A good rehabilitation plan with those elements mentioned above has seen great results and improved recovery time as well as reduced inflammation, reduced pain and improvement to the range of movement in your arm.
SURGERY may be an option if the issue persists and you have gone through a considered and tailored physiotherapy and massage program as a last resort to remove the damaged part of the tendon.
Depending on the severity of your Tennis Elbow, recovery can take anything from a couple of months through to 2 years in the most extreme cases. Getting over such an injury should not be considered quick or with a magic treatment, recovery and repair takes time, getting the rehabilitation right is also a very important thing to consider to stop this reoccurring.