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Tennis elbow can be a painful and difficult condition to manage. In order to make the recovery process much easier and less stressful, we will discuss the 7 most effective essential oils for dealing with tennis elbow.
What is Tennis Elbow?
Although the name suggests this condition is exclusive to tennis players, there are many different types of people who can develop it. It develops in 3 percent of Americans every year usually between the ages of 30-50. Any athlete or worker that uses their arm in a repetitive motion that puts stress on the elbows frequently are at risk of this condition.
Those at risk for Tennis Elbow
The types of people at risk for developing this condition are athletes and different types of workers.
Athletes in any sport similar to tennis such as racquetball, golf, or squash are at risk for experiencing tennis elbow at some point in their careers.
There are also people such as plumbers, painters, carpenters, butchers, and any other work that involves repetitive or overuse of the elbows.
What we call tennis elbow is medically called lateral epicondylitis. This condition occurs when there is a problem with the extensor carpi radialis brevis muscle tendon that attaches to the outside bone of the elbow called the lateral epicondyle, hence the name. This tendon attaches to the muscle that extends the wrist back.
As a result of overuse or repetitive movements of the elbow, tiny tears in the tendon form which leads to subsequent pain and tenderness on the outside of the elbow. This can also lead to inflammation, which causes swelling, joint pain, stiffness, and trouble moving or bending the arm.
Symptoms of the development of tennis elbow include:
- Pain on the outside of the arm
- Sore forearm muscles
- Weakened grip
- Aching or burning pain in the elbow that gets worse when lifting or gripping
There are many different treatment options that have worked well for those who have developed tennis elbow. These options include physical therapy, wearing an elbow brace, rest, acupuncture, steroid injections, NSAID medications, or adopting more anti-inflammatory foods into your diet.
Another option that many people with tennis elbow have chosen is essential oils.
There is a wide variety of essential oils for tennis elbow that have been shown to have positive effects. This is a completely natural form of treatment that is simple, yet powerful.
Here are the 7 most effective essential oils for tennis elbow
- Peppermint – acts as a soothing and cooling essential oil for tennis elbow, has antispasmodic properties
- Lavender – helps relax muscles and soothes inflammation
- Cypress – helps improve circulation in the elbow
- Lemongrass – increases circulation and decreases inflammation
- Helichrysum – is one of the best essential oils for tennis elbow because it repairs damaged nerve tissue, is an anti-inflammatory, and provides pain relief
- Frankincense – helps promote healing by decreasing inflammation
- Clary Sage – good for tendon pain because it relaxes aching joints and muscles
How to use
When using essential oils for tennis elbow, it is important to dilute them with a carrier oil such as almond oil or coconut oil before applying them directly to the skin.
Rub the diluted mixture on the affected area. You can use a hot or cold cloth on top of the area to penetrate deeper and help soothe pain.
Do not expose the area covered with essential oils to direct sunlight, as that can lead to irritation or burning sensations.
When to see a doctor
While these treatments are non-surgical, a small percentage of those diagnosed with tennis elbow will require surgical treatment. If you notice the following symptoms, you should see your doctor before starting treatment:
- When you are unable to carry objects or use your arm
- Elbow pain that’s bothersome when you are resting or sleeping
- Elbow pain that lasts more than a few days
- When you cannot straighten or flex your arm
- Significant swelling or bruising around the joint
While this condition can be difficult and frustrating to manage, the recovery process can be made easier and more manageable with essential oils.
If your symptoms last longer than six to twelve months while undergoing treatment, you may want to consider surgery and will need to consult with your doctor.