By Dr Harsh Sharma, DHMS, BHMS
Published August 1, 2019, Last updated August 1, 2019
Tennis elbow is a common condition that affects the tendons of the elbow due to overuse. It is basically an inflammation and swelling of the tendons of the forearm and more so that of the elbow region. This causes pain in the elbow and the forearm. The medical name of the condition is Lateral Epicondylitis. Before we discuss the homeopathic medicines for tennis elbow, let us understand a little more about the problem.
What is Tennis Elbow?
As I have mentioned earlier, it is an inflammation of the tendons of the forearm and that of the elbow joint. This inflammation leads to swelling and pain in the elbow and the forearm. Tendons are tough bands of tissue that connect the muscles to the bone. Tendinitis or inflammation of these tendons usually occurs due to repetitive movements of some particular muscle. This repetitive movement may be due to playing tennis or even some other similar movement. Plumbers, painters, carpenters or people using computers and typing are also likely to get this problem.
Cause of Tennis Elbow
Tennis elbow is essentially a problem that occurs due to overuse of the forearm. Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis (ECRB) is a muscle that joins to the lateral epicondyle of the elbow joint. The muscle and the tendon suffer strain due to the repetitive movements, more so the contraction of the forearm muscles. This repetitive movement and resultant stress lead to micro tears in the tendons. These tears lead to inflammation and swelling.
Pain is a consequence of this inflammation. Some particular professions are more prone to this problem. Wherever there is repetitive movement of the forearm, the possibility of getting tennis elbow remains. Painters, mechanics, plumbers, carpenters, weight lifters, computer users and typists are more likely to get this problem.
Symptoms of Tennis Elbow
The symptoms of tennis elbow usually develop slowly over a period of time. Initially, the pain is mild and patients usually ignore it as nothing significant. Slowly and slowly, the pain worsens. The pain occurs in the outer part of the elbow. The bony protuberance on the outer part of the elbow is the area where the ECRB joins the elbow joint. Pain is also present in the forearm too. The pain worsens while gripping something or lifting something. Shaking hands, driving, opening a door or lifting even light weights can become a task as there is intense pain. Weakness of the muscles is also present.
Management of Tennis Elbow
There are certain easy things that can help manage the tennis elbow. Here are a couple of things that you can do-
- Ice packs- Applying ice packs to the painful elbow helps in reducing inflammation and pain.
- Strengthening the muscles- It is important that the muscles of the forearm should be strong. Doing some mild exercises to strengthen the forearm muscles also helps in reducing the problem.
- Wearing an elbow strap – It helps in reducing the stress on the elbow joint. The pain and inflammation reduces.
- Performing the full range of movement- One should try to perform the full range of movement of the muscles and the joints even if there is some pain while doing so. This prevents both disuse atrophy and formation of scar tissue.
Treatment of tennis elbow
The usual mainstay of the allopathic treatment of tennis elbow happens to be painkillers. These painkillers do nothing to reduce the problem. They just protect you from feeling the pain. Anti-inflammatory medicines form the other major line of treatment. They help in reducing the inflammation and swelling. These painkillers and anti-inflammatory medicines have their own limitations and also have some side effects.
Homeopathic treatment for Tennis Elbow
Homeopathy has a much better treatment for tennis elbow. The homeopathic medicines slowly heal the inflammation of the tendons. This allows the pain to completely disappear. The range of movement also returns and allows the full motion of the arm, the forearm and the wrist. One can also resume doing all normal activities.
In the acute phase, one should rest and not use the elbow joint much. As the pain subsides, strengthening the muscles of the forearm and the joints is important. Therefore, one should keep doing all sorts of exercises to keep the muscles and joints strong. This does not mean that one should go overboard trying to lift heavy weights in an effort to strengthen the muscles. One should do regular mild exercises.
Homeopathic medicines for Tennis Elbow
Here are the 5 best homeopathic medicines for tennis elbow. These medicines are very effective in treating tennis elbow. I have used them in hundreds of cases in the last more than 2 decades. An important point is that this is not an exhaustive list. One has to often use other medicines depending upon the symptoms of the patient. This list just includes the most commonly indicated and used medicines.
Arnica- One of the best homeopathic medicines for tennis elbow with sore bruised feeling
Rhus Tox- One of the best homeopathic remedies for tennis elbow with amelioration from warmth and motion
Bryonia- One of the best homeopathy medicines for tennis elbow with aggravation from motion
Kali Bi- One of the best homeopathic medicines for tennis elbow with extension to hand
Chamomilla- One of the best homeopathic medicines for tennis elbow with pain aggravated on carrying a weight
Here is a brief description of these medicines. It is not possible to give a detailed description of the medicines and their various symptoms due to paucity of space.
Arnica- One of the best homeopathic medicines for tennis elbow with sore bruised feeling.
When there is a sore bruised feeling in the elbow and the forearm, Arnica is one of the best homeopathic medicines for tennis elbow. The soreness is such that one feels as if he has been bruised and beaten. There is a feeling of sprain or dislocation. This soreness feeling often comes after any sort of overexertion. There is a deathly coldness of forearm. It is an excellent medicine for any sort of injury or sprain or exertion.
Rhus Tox- One of the best homeopathic remedies for tennis elbow with amelioration from warmth and motion.
When the pain in the tennis elbow is better from applying external warmth and from motion, Rhus Tox is one of the best homeopathic medicines for tennis elbow. This is an excellent remedy for any sort of sprain or strain from overexertion. The pain is worse when the patient first starts to move or starts moving the affected joint. The pain usually gets slightly better after moving for some time. Therefore, the patient keeps on moving. There is hot and painful swelling of the joints. The patient cannot tolerate any cold air or cold application. There are tearing pains in the tendons and ligaments. The forearm seems to lose power.
Bryonia- One of the best homeopathy medicines for tennis elbow with aggravation from motion.
When the pain becomes worse from any sort of movement, Bryonia is one of the best homeopathy medicines for tennis elbow. The patient feels better when he is resting. Therefore he just does not want to move. The pains are stitching and tearing in nature. The joints swell and are red and hot. The joint is also painful on pressure.
Kali Bi- One of the best homeopathic medicines for tennis elbow with extension to hand.
When the pain extends to the hand, Kali Bi is one of the best homeopathic medicines for tennis elbow. There is pain in small spots. The pains are often moving in nature. One moment, there is pain in one particular spot and sometime later, the pain moves to another spot. There is stiffness and cracking in the joints.
Chamomilla- One of the best homeopathic medicines for tennis elbow with pain aggravated on carrying a weight.
When the pain gets worse on carrying any weight, Chamomilla is one of the best homeopathic medicines for tennis elbow. There is numbness of the parts along with the pain. The pains are severe and unendurable. The pains are worse at night. Mental irritability is characteristic of this medicine.