Tennis elbow is a painful condition of outer side of the elbow joint caused by over use of arm, fore arm and hand muscles. Tennis elbow affects the outside bony area (lateral epicondyle) of elbow where the muscles and tendon of fore arm is attached. Tendon of extensor carpi radialis brevis muscles is usually affected in this condition. When elbow bends and straightens, this muscle rub against bony prominence causing, gradual wear and tear of the muscle and leads to tennis elbow. Prevalence of this condition in general population is around 2% and 50% tennis players are affected by this condition. Due to the increased prevalence of this condition with tennis players, it is named tennis elbow. In addition to racket sports, people with other activities such as painters, plumbers and carpenters are also prone to develop this condition. Repetitive movement of arm, elbow, wrist, and hand while gripping something tight result in tennis elbow.
Signs & Symptoms
Slowly increasing pain or burning on the outer part of the elbow.
- Weakened grip.
- Worsening of pain on squeezing objects.
Ayurvedic management of Tennis Elbow
According to Sushrutha, this may be interpreted as Vatha vitiation at the snayu (Tendon) level. Treatment procedures used are Snehana, Upanaha, Bandhana and Dahakarma.In Ayurveda, treatment begins from avoiding exposure to etiological factors. In this condition, activities involving overuse of the elbow joint or Koorparasandhi should be totally avoided.
Dhara - Pouring of Liquid Medicines
- Kashaya dhara: Pouring of herbal decoction over elbow joint is very useful in severe throbbing pain.
- Ksheera Kashaya dhara: Pouring of medicated milk is very useful in burning pain.
- Thaila dhara: Pouring of medicated oil is useful in stiffness and pain.
Dos & Donts
- Avoid Vatha vitiating foods such as cold and frozen food.
- Use elbow strap to prevent further injury.
- Exercises to improve range of movement and reduce stiffness and flexibility.
- Exercises for strengthening extensor muscles are beneficial.
- Modify activities that worse the pain, this includes lifting weights, squeezing and gripping movements of hands.