Treatment for Tennis Elbow usually includes treating, reducing or "fighting" inflammation - but, in spite of all the medical websites and officials promoting this approach, it's a deeply flawed one.
In fact, you're about to learn why the inflammation-chasing treatment approach is so unfounded, unscientific and irrational it deserves to be labeled a myth - I call it The InflammaSCAM.
You may have only just discovered you have Elbow "Tendonitis," in which case this could help you avoid a huge mistake - Even more so if you've been suffering for months and find yourself wondering...
"Why does my Tennis Elbow keep flaring up again and again? - Why does it keep coming back no matter how much I treat it with ice, how many anti-inflammatories I gobble, or how much I try and rest it until the pain and inflammation go down?"
The answer may be, at least in part, that the inflammation-fighting treatment approach is not only failing to help your healing and recovery - It may be slowing your recovery down.
What Is Tennis Elbow?
A simple question that if you ask the average medical professional or query the typical medical website you get a fairly simply answer to. (Too simple, really.)
Tennis Elbow is a tendon injury to one or more of the group of tendons that connect the muscles of the outside of your forearm to a bony knob at the outside of your elbow.
It's also known as 'Elbow Tendonitis' or more technically as 'Lateral Epidondylitis'...
But these terms are outdated and even deceptive, because they emphasize and promote the idea that 'Chronic Inflammation' (chronic simple meaning long-term or persistent) is somehow the cause or the main concern.
Nope. Simply not true.
Of course, there is a lot more to the question of "What is Tennis Elbow" than we can cover here - but one thing is certain, it's NOT really about inflammation or inflamed tendons once we ask...
What Causes Tennis Elbow?
The official explanation gives token acknowledgement to there being some kind of Repetitive-Strain type injury to the tendons (which is true)...
But then it quickly skips over a lot of key facts and details, and implies that inflammation is somehow causing the problem.
Yes, inflammation (if present) may cause burning pain and irritation...
But here's the thing: Inflammation can't be the cause of your Tennis Elbow injury - because it's a symptom of the injury itself:
- First comes an injury to the tendon [Cause]
- Then comes inflammation - as a result of the injury [Symptom]
- (And then comes the pain) [Another symptom]
So, the true root cause is the damage to your tendons, which is followed by inflammation, which in turn causes pain.
Inflammation: Friend - Not Foe?
The truth is inflammation is actually a part of your healing process!
And this is a basic, irrefutable fact of biology you can find in any medical textbook when it comes to the healing and repair of 'Soft Tissues' (Like tendons.)
It's not your enemy (in this case, anyway) it's your friend, because you can't have any healing in your tendons (or muscles or skin) without inflammation.
But, since inflammation causes pain, that makes it a big, easy target: Blame the inflammation!
And what about the often-repeated claim or implication that there's way too much inflammation going on when you have Tennis Elbow, and that you supposedly need to reduce it?
No. Still not true. (Unless there's significant swelling, which is very rare, in my experience.)
It's much more likely that there isn't enough inflammation happening in and around your tendon than too much.
What's that?... Not enough inflammation!?
Yes, tendons don't have much of a blood supply, which is critical to fast healing. And inflammation, which kicks off healing, is also supposed to bring more blood circulation to the damaged area to aid the healing process.
What too often happens when a tendon is damaged, however is:
- There's often not enough inflammation,
- So, there's often not enough repair and rebuilding,
- And the tendon often remains partially healed - Or not at all
You may FEEL a lot of burning pain and irritation that makes you suspect that:
"There must be a raging storm of inflammation going on here!"
But those "burning" pain symptoms are deceptive, because they often don't have anything to do with inflammation...
In other words, it's just how the tendon feels when it's injured - Inflamed or not.
Whether you have Tennis Elbow or some other kind of tendon injury / Tendonitis (Tendinopathy is the better, newer word) your challenge is to overcome the tendency tendons have of not healing properly.
I know it can be hard when it hurts, but I strongly encourage you to stop worrying about inflammation and thinking of it as something harmful - And to do what you can to encourage and speed up your own healing process.
You can't just wait and expect your tendons to heal fully by themselves.
And now that you understand that inflammation is a necessary part of your healing process, you have to make a choice about whether you want:
- Relief in the short term (via drugs, ice and Cortisone shots)
- Or repair and recovery in the long term (which eventually brings lasting relief)
Unfortunately, you can't hedge your bets by trying to do both - Because choosing to "fight" your inflammation to relieve pain in the short term is to fight against your own healing process.
It's been a long, long time since I had any tendon problems, but back whenever I felt the slightest "twinge" of warning pain in a tendon, I would put the heat to it under the hottest water I could stand in the shower every day and rub the area like crazy for a few minutes to bring the blood to the area, and it worked great.
Yes, it probably got more inflamed for a while from this - but that's the IDEA! - Always remember that this is a necessary step in the healing process.
So, forget the ice, forget the anti-inflammatory pills, forget the Cortisone shots, and consider putting the heat to it...
(Unless you just injured it within the last several days, in which case wait a few days, especially if there's significant swelling in the area you can clearly see. You don't want to put heat on an 'Acute Injury' Usually you ice it for up to 72 hours - And then switch to heat when it's past the 'Acute Stage.' Please look that up if it's not clear.)
Treat Your Tennis Elbow Yourself At Home
To learn more about how you can support your own healing process naturally, take a look at a Tennis Elbow treatment approach you can do on your own easily at home...
Tennis Elbow Classroom teaches you how to do your own therapy, stretches and exercises through a simple self-help video program.
All you need to do is follow the step-by-step video lessons to treat your own muscles and tendons, help speed your healing naturally, and break that vicious cycle of pain finally and forever.
No more inflammation-fighting pills, ice or shots! (And no miracle cures, gimmicks or affiliate offers, either.)
I'm a Neuromuscular Therapist who's been clinically treating Tennis Elbow with great success for over a decade - And I'm standing by, ready and able to be your virtual tutor at: Tennis Elbow Classroom