Ayurvedic treatment for Tennis elbow

Tennis elbow

Know More on Bone Diseases

  • Definition
  • Causes
  • Symptoms
  • Diagnosis
  • Management
  • FAQS
  • References

Definition

Tennis elbow Ayurvedic treatment

Tennis elbow is the pain in elbow due to swelling of the tendons which may occur due to repetitive movements of the wrists and arm. Unlike the name suggests, the condition affects non-athletes as well.1

According to Ayurveda, on the basis of signs and symptoms tennis elbow can be compared to Snayugata Vata. In this condition, vata dosha is aggravated because of activities like atichesta (hyperactivity) and ativyayam (overexertion). This aggravated vata accumulates in the snayu (tendon) of kurpara sandhi (elbow joint). 2

Causes

Tennis elbow

Tennis elbow is caused due to overuse of the tendons resulting in a muscle strain injury.1

Any activity that requires repeated motions of the elbow and wrists can cause tiny injuries in the tendons leading to tennis elbow.1

Repeated use of computer mouse is also a cause for tennis elbow.1

Symptoms

Tennis elbow

Tennis elbow causes pain in the hand that causes difficulties in the normal functioning. Thus a person with tennis elbow may not be able to open doors, hold a glass or shake hands.

Diagnosis

Tennis elbow

Your doctor will generally diagnose tennis elbow by asking you a few questions and getting to know your symptoms. Rarely some tests like X-ray etc may be required to rule out any other condition.1

Management

Tennis elbow

Tennis elbow generally does not require treatment except for managing the pain associated with it, as it gradually heals on its own.2 Here are some ways in which you can provide relief to your pain:3

  • Apply ice packs on the affected area for 20-30 minutes every 3-4 hours for a few days, as it will help reduce pain and swelling
  • Use elbow strap to protect the injured area
  • Use pain killers and pain reliever medicines if the pain gets very intense
  • Perform motion exercises to prevent stiffness and increase flexibility in your wrists
  • In severe pain cases, steroid injections may be taken

Some cases may also require a surgery which removes the damaged section on the tendon and repairs the remaining tendon.3

Ayurveda recommends holistic treatment for tennis elbow. These include2:

  • Snehana (oleation) – administering ghee, herbal oil, animal fat or bone marrow to expel the imbalanced dosha out of the body
  • Swedana (fomentation) – application of hot, moist substances to heal pain
  • Agnikarma (Cautery)

Additionally, Ayurveda also recommends a combination of healthy diet (ahar) and lifestyle changes (vihar) in order to manage tennis elbow effectively. These include:2

Diet Recommendations (Aahar)

  • Consume a nutritious and healthy diet everyday
  • Avoid carbonated drinks, packaged foods and junk food

Lifestyle changes (Vihar)

  • Avoid activities that cause both mental and physical stress
  • Avoid excessive exercise and physical activities
  • Avoid suppressing your urges (vegavidharan) to urinate, defecate, etc
  • Mild stretching exercises that help strengthen your muscles of the forearm can be performed under the supervision of a physical therapist

FAQS

Tennis elbow
  1. What is Osteoarthritis? How is it caused?

Osteoarthritis refers to a type of bone and joint problem in which a person suffering from it will have pains in joints. This happens due to the wearing down of the protective cartilage on the bones due to age or other factors. While any joint in the body can have osteoarthritis, usually it happens commonly in the joints of knees, hips, spinal column and hands.

Osteoarthritis is caused due to damage of the cartilages of the ends of the bones. This damage generally occurs due to multiple factors primarily being increasing age. Apart for age, the other factors that cause the damage to cartilage are Obesity, female gender and trauma to the joint.

  1. What is Rheumatoid arthritis? How is it different from osteoarthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) refers to an auto immune disorder where the body’s defense systems turn against the body and mainly affect the joints but may also severely affect the eyes, skin, lungs, heart and blood vessels. It generally manifests as pain in the joints along with swelling and difficulty in movements.

Unlike osteoarthritis which affects the weight bearing joints, RA affects any and most joints of the body. It generally presents with swelling (hot swollen joints) as a cardinal feature and also shows some systemic manifestations (such as affects the eyes, skin, lungs, heart etc) unlike OA.

  1. What is osteoporosis? How is it recognized?

Osteoporosis refers to the condition where the bone becomes weak. Instead of the strong tissue that support the body structure, bones become brittle from inside and are capable of breaking with a minor jerk or fall. This leads to fractures in the hands, hips and legs with minor falls or injuries.

It can be recognized based on specific signs and symptoms and a BMD test. Symptoms are as follows -

  • Easily having a bone fracture
  • Pain in the back
  • Height becomes lesser than usual
  • A dropping posture
  1. What first aid should I offer to a person with a fracture?

If you witness a person developing fracture, take these actions immediately -

  • Urgently call for medical help or arrange for an ambulance
  • Stop any bleeding if there is an open wound. This can be done by applying pressure with a clean cloth or tight bandaging.
  • Avoid moving the injured area.
  • Apply ice packs to the injured part
  • If the person faints of is short of breath, put their head at a lower side and legs at a higher angle
  1. How does one know if a child has rickets?

The signs and symptoms of rickets are as follows –

  • Crooked or bow shaped legs
  • Thick joints of hands and feet
  • Protruded chest bone
  • A delay in growth milestones
  • Muscular weakness
  1. How does one have a dislocated joint?

Dislocations are usually caused due to a trauma or as a sports injury. Falls associated with contact sports such as football, basketball etc can lead to a dislocation.

Additionally, a fall on the outstretched hand and trauma due to a motor accident, too can cause dislocation.

  1. What is a Tennis elbow? How is it caused?

Tennis elbow refers to the pain in elbow due to swelling of the tendons which may occur due to repetitive movements of the wrists. Unlike the name suggests, the condition affects non-athletes as well.

It is caused due to overuse of the tendons resulting in a muscle strain injury. Any activity that requires repeated motions of the elbow and wrists can cause tiny injuries in the tendons leading to tennis elbow.

  1. What is frozen shoulder and how is it caused?

Frozen shoulder refers to a condition where the shoulder seems to be frozen in its movements. This condition cause pain and stiffness in the shoulder and restricts any kinds of movements. Medically, this condition in also known as adhesive capsulitis.

While the exact cause of frozen shoulder is not understood, it is believed to be caused due to a swelling of the joints covering called as capsule. This may happen due to long periods of immobility or trauma to the underlying nerve.

  1. How does a hip get fractured?

Generally hip fractures can be caused because of a trauma due to accident, falls, injuries or rarely violence. Hip fracture is very common in the elderly as it often happens due to a fall from height or sometimes even with twisting of the foot in people with weak bones. Younger people often have hip fracture as an outcome of a motor vehicle accident.

  1. What is meant by slipped disc?

A slipped disc refers to the swelling in the cushion between two bones, most commonly the vertebra (individual bones of the spine). This cushion is supposed to provide mobility and flexibility to the spine. This cushion between the vertebra is called as a disc and is filed with a gel like substance that provides the flexibility.

Slipped disc is the swelling of this disc which causes pain and obstructs mobility of the spine. A swelling in the cushion leads to some of the gel in the disc to protrude out between the bones.

References

Tennis elbow
  1. Mayo Clinic. Tennis elbow. Available at http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/tennis-elbow/home/ovc-20206011 accessed Sept 20th 2016
  2. Mahanta V et al. Management of tennis elbow by Agnikarma. J Ayurveda Integr Med. 2013 Jan-Mar; 4(1): 45–47.
  3. Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis). Web MD. Available at http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/tennis-elbow-lateral-epicondylitis#2-4 accessed Sept 21st 2016

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