6 Effective Ways to Treat Elbow Tendon and Tendonitis

What is Elbow Tendonitis?

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Quick answer, the elbow has several major tendons that attach near it. These elbow tendons include the:

  • Common extensor tendon.
  • Common flexor tendon.
  • Biceps tendon.6 effective ways to treat elbow tendons and tendonitis. Illustration of the Anatomy of Elbow Tendons elbow muscles painAnatomy of Tennis Elbow.

Tendinitis of the elbow is typically associated with the first two. Tendonitis of the common extensor tendon is known as Tennis Elbow. Tendinitis of the common flexor tendon is known as Golfer’s Elbow.

Tendons are bands of tissue that connect muscles to bones. What is tendonitis in the elbow? Tendonitis is inflammation of a tendon. It can cause pain in the tendon or the surrounding area and may limit daily activity. Tendonitis may involve tiny tears in the tendon. How to treat tendonitis of the elbow varies depending on the severity of the injury and the injury's nature.  Often we are asked if a tennis elbow brace works.  

What are the Causes of Tendonitis in the Elbow Tendons?

The quick answer is that elbow tendonitis may be caused by:

  • Repetitive movement.
  • Heavy lifting.
  • Squeezing and twisting movements.
  • Computer use.
  • Gardening.
  • Painting.
  • Tennis.
  • Golf.

6 Effective Ways to treat Elbow Tendon and TendonitisAnatomy of elbow tendons

What are Symptoms of Elbow Tendonitis?

Quick answer, symptoms of this condition include feeling pain and tenderness on the bony part of the outside of the elbow. Even though the injury is to the elbow, pain can be aggravated by doing things with your hands. This is because you use your tendons when using your hands, which causes pain to radiate up into your elbow.  

Do I Have Tennis Elbow or Golfer’s Elbow?

tennis elbow is a type of tendonitis elbow muscles painTennis elbow pain is on the outside of the elbow

Tennis Elbow is on the outside of the elbow, and Golfer’s Elbow is on the inside part of the elbow.

A backhand in tennis requires a stable wrist. Over time, this places stress through the tendons in the back of the wrist.  This may lead to tendonitis at the elbow or tendinitis of the wrist. However, tennis is not usually the main cause of Tennis Elbow. So, what can you do for tennis elbow? The quick answer to that is that it depends. You can find some home treatments in the section below.

Swinging a golf club can put stress on the inside of the elbow and lead to Golfer’s elbow. This is rarely the cause, though.  

Tennis Elbow and Golfer’s Elbow are both types of tendonitis. They can be caused by repetitive stress or vibration.

Watch this VIDEO why tennis elbow pain can't wait for treatment.

Can Shoulder Exercises help Elbow Tendon Pain?

Exercises for the shoulders are important for those with Elbow tendonitis.  This is because the pain in the elbow can lead to decreased use of the entire arm.  Lack of arm use can cause weakness and stiffness to develop in the shoulder. So, if you have elbow tendonitis, keep the shoulder moving.  It may not directly affect the elbow pain, but it can help to prevent other issues from developing. 

Tendonitis Elbow Brace for Tennis Elbow Pain

As stated above, a tendinitis elbow brace can help with Tennis Elbow Pain. To learn more, go to TENNIS ELBOW BRACES.

What are 6 Effective Ways to Treat Elbow Tendon Pain from Tendonitis?

So, you know that you have this condition. The problem is so many people don't know how to get rid of tennis elbow or what to do for tendonitis of the elbow. The quick answer to how to treat tendonitis of the elbow is found below. The quick answer to how to fix tennis elbow may also be below:

  • Rest: from activity that increases the pain, take a few days to a few weeks off. This may allow the inflammation to progress through the normal healing process.
  • Anti-inflammatory medications: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help decrease pain. There are risk factors, though, and it is important to speak to your physician before beginning any medications, even if they are over the counter.
  • Ice: Cold packs help to decrease pain and limit damage to surrounding tissue. Cold packs or ice should be used for 10 to 20 minutes.
  • Bracing: An elbow brace may temporarily limit painful activity but should not typically be used at all times. A tennis elbow brace applies pressure to the elbow tendon and helps change the tendon's forces.

image of a man with a light blue shirt holding his Right elbow and wearing an tennis elbow brace. The elbow tendon brace is tan.Tennis elbow brace

  • Stretching" Stretching the wrist into flexion or extension can help to stimulate the injured tendons and promote mobility and healing.  Hold stretches for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times. You should feel tension but not severe pain.
  • Massage: Gently rubbing the painful tendon can help to stimulate healing and breakdown scar tissue.  Try massaging the tendon in various directions. Watch this VIDEO for information on JOI's Medical Massage Therapy Services.

How Long Does Elbow Tendonitis Take to Heal?

There is a quick answer to how to heal a tennis elbow and how long it takes to depend on the severity of the injury. Many people feel better in as little as a couple of weeks, but it may take 6 months to a year for the tendon to fully heal. Surgery is rarely needed, but some doctors may use a corticosteroid shot to help you start rehabilitation.

How is Elbow Tendonitis Diagnosed?

To diagnose your elbow tendonitis, your doctor will perform a thorough physical exam. The doctor will have you bend your arm, wrist, and elbow to see where the pain is located. Your physician will also determine if you also need tests, such as X-ray, MRI, or ultrasound, to diagnose your elbow tendinitis. how to treat tendonitis of the elbow

What if the Home Remedy for Elbow Tendonitis Does Not Work?

What to do for tennis elbow often depends on who you talk to. Physical therapy is a great option to treat elbow tendonitis. There are different treatments for the various sources of elbow pain. Massage and stretching can improve the mobility of the tissue. Education is important in treating elbow pain. Physical Therapists use a variety of treatment options, including:

  • Laser.

Elbow tendonitis pain can be treated with laserElbow tendonitis pain can be reduced with laser treatment

  • The Graston Technique.

The Graston method helps reduce elbow pain caused by tendonitis in addition to elbow brace for tendonitisThe Graston method helps reduce elbow tendonitis pain

  • Electrical Stimulation.
  • Ultrasound.
  • Moist Heat Packs.
  • Massage.
  • Exercises.

Related Article: Tennis Elbow Defined.

The Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute will continue to monitor the latest developments of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), we are committed to protecting the health and safety of our patients, families and caregivers. To read more about our safety measures go to JOI4U. JOI & JOI Rehab, encourages all patients to wear a mask to their appointment. Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms, including fever, cough or shortness of breath, should contact 904-JOI-2000 prior to your scheduled appointment. In an effort to adhere to the national social distancing request, please do not bring family members to your appointment unless they are needed for translation or transportation.  You can also complete all of your new patient paperwork from home. To request registration paperwork electronically click HERE.

To schedule an appointment with an Orthopaedic elbow Specialist, schedule online, click below or call  904-JOI-2000. To schedule with JOI REHAB, call(904)858-7045.

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By: Ehren Allen, DPT, Certified Manual Therapist

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