Best Ways to Treat Tennis Elbow/Computer Elbow Naturally

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Pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. Some pain is worse than others, of course, but sometimes it’s the things you can’t see that cause some of the most intense pain. One such pain is often called tennis elbow, but lately it appears that many doctors refer to this as “computer elbow” since more people are becoming affected via use of computer keyboards than actually from tennis.

What exactly is tennis/computer elbow?

  Even if you have never played tennis in your life, you can still get this disorder. Many people are fooled by the name or don’t really understand what it means. Tennis elbow (or computer elbow) is pain and discomfort surrounding the area of the elbow due to an injury to the muscle(s) and/or tendons. As we mentioned, although this has been commonly called tennis elbow, it’s not connected solely to tennis players. This problem can affect anyone who engages in repetitive or strenuous activities involving the arms. This means typists, data entry clerks, grocery store check-out clerks, professional movers, and even baby toting moms can all become affected by tennis elbow.

If you look at the elbow from the outside, chances are good that you won’t see anything wrong. Some people experience some swelling of the area, but not everyone does. How will you know if you have it? You will know, because the pain can be excruciating. Simple things such as shaking hands, pumping gas, or pressing down hard when writing, will cause sharp, intense pain at the outside edge of the elbow joint itself, almost as if someone stabbed you in the elbow with a knife.

There are numerous ways in which tennis elbow can be treated, some more effective than others. Most people immediately reach for pain meds to reduce the inflammation. Others try pain relieving ointments. If the pain becomes severe, you will undoubtedly head to the doctor, where he might recommend a cortisone injection. Read more how to treat inflammation naturally.

Unfortunately, these methods rarely work and it’s easy to become frustrated when you are forced to deal with pain every day. Even simple things like washing your hair become extremely painful.

One of the problems with damage to the tendons is that they take a long time to heal. Since there is very little blood to the area, it’s hard for tendons to remove inflammation and grow new tissue. However, there are some natural remedies that can help stop the pain and allow your body to heal on its own.

Keep reading for the best natural ways to deal with tennis elbow before you head off to your doctor.


1. Rest

OK, so no one wants to hear this one. You want to go back to your normal life and ditch this pain that is driving you mad. That’s a normal reaction, but in this case it won’t work. No matter how you damaged your elbow, it needs to rest and heal, just like any other part of your body. The more you continue to use it, especially by doing the same thing you originally did that damaged it, the worse it will become. How bad can it get? You can literally get to the point where you cannot do anything, not even lift a glass or hold a pen without screaming out loud. No kidding. Don let it get to that point. The longer you keep using it, the worse it will get.

So rest your elbow as much as possible. Put a soft pillow underneath it and avoid using it as much as possible. It takes time, yes, but it beats surgery.

While you are resting it, try some of the therapies below to help speed up the healing process.


2. Essential Oil Wrap

Lemongrass is perfect for tendon problems. It has a slightly warming effect and anti-inflammatory compounds. Try this wrap while you are resting your elbow for some quick relief.


  • Lemongrass essential oil
  • Birch essential oil
  • Peppermint essential oil
  • Carrier oil such as coconut oil or almond oil
  • Ice water


  • Place your elbow in a bowl of ice water for about 10 minutes. This will reduce inflammation and cause a rush of healing new blood to the area once it starts to warm up again.
  • Now place about two drops of lemongrass oil and massage it directly into the outside of the elbow.
  • Now add two drops of birch and peppermint oil into about a tablespoon of your carrier oil.
  • Rub this into the elbow area for a few minutes.
  • Wrap a bandage or small clean towel around the elbow and allow the oils to really soak in for at least 30 minutes.
  • Wash with warm water.

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3. Compression

Some people find relief by using wraps or elastic bandages that give the elbow some temporary support and help to reduce swelling. Compression wraps can help reduce the pain naturally. Use them regularly during your daily activities for a few weeks and see if this gives your elbow the support and rest it needs to heal.

4. Heat or Ice

Depending on the person, one of these usually works. Everyone is different; some say that ice is painful, while others claim heat brings on their pain. Use what works for you, but do so consistently for a period of at least 3 weeks. Try using either ice water or ice packs as many times during the day as possible. Use them for 10 minutes, then stop using them for 10 minutes, then repeat the process. The same applies to heat packs or hot towels from the dryer. Both of these methods will speed healing and help reduce pain.


SEE ALSO: Best Natural Remedies for Relief of Neck Pain

5. Use a Counterforce Brace

You can buy these in most medical supply stores where you find things such as crutches or wheelchairs. These straps are worn around the forearm, just below the elbow. They work by applying pressure throughout the arm, instead of solely relying on the tendon. You won’t need a prescription from your doctor, and these can often help tremendously.

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6. Massage

This is another great way of bringing blood to the area to speed healing. A qualified massage therapist will massage not only the elbow area, but your shoulder, forearm, wrist and hand as these areas are often damaged as well because they are overused due to the pain you feel in your elbow. Call a local physical therapist for a recommendation to be sure you get the best massage possible. Find out danger signs that you have poor blood circulation and how to fix it.


7. Physical Therapy

A few visits with a physical therapist can make all the difference in the world. They can most likely determine how you damaged the tendon and suggest other ways of doing things so that you don’t continue wreaking havoc on your elbow, and they can show you exercises and ways that you can heal and strengthen your elbow to avoid a reoccurrence.

The earlier you begin treating the problem the more quickly your elbow can heal itself. If all else fails, however, see an orthopedist.