Tips on how to treat the epicondylitis

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This information is intended to improve the basic understanding of the epicondylitis, but these information must not replace a visit to the doctor or be used for self-diagnosis!

Understanding the injury = get well soon

In order to feel better faster, it is important to understand roughly which movements and activities strain the tendons severely and possibly even aggravate the injury.

In this chapter, you will learn ia.:

  • What causes my pain?
  • Negative influences
  • How can I protect myself?
  • Risk groups etc.
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There are basically two types of the epicondylitis:

  • Epicondylitis lateralis humeri (Epicondylitis humeri radialis = tennis elbow)
  • Epicondylitis ulnaris humeri (Epicondylitis humeri medialis = golfer’s elbow)

Flexor and extensor of the wrist

Basically, the flexor and extensor of the wrists are mainly responsible for the maximum load on the tendons. The so-called extensor stresses the outer tendon insertion (lateral, radial = tennis elbow), the flexor stresses the inner tendon insertion (ulnar, medial = golfer’s elbow).

For example, the tennis elbow is often diagnosed by stretching the hand towards the top of the hand and the middle finger towards the body when the arm is stretched. This leads to a stress pain.

The same applies to the golfer’s arm, except that the hand must be bend extremely towards the palm of the hand.

Other negative influences – vibrations, jerky movements & more

In addition to the movements of the wrists and fingers, jerky movements, vibrations, hyperextension and overstretching may be responsible for extremely straining the tendons. These may prolong the disease duration, and especially in combination these stresses may be unfavourable.

What is the best way to protect myself?

We know that for various reasons (work-related, or in certain sports) you cannot always avoid those movements and influences, but there are always ways of reducing them.

For example, in addition to the countertraction principle of our Masalo® cuff, which protects and relieves the tendon insertions, you can stabilise your wrists to some extent.

We are also in the process of developing a product for this issue, but this will take some time. Currently, in addition to the Masalo® cuff, we recommend the use of a standard wrist bandage. This bandage should be elastic and only slightly cushion the movements of the wrist, as a shock absorber. The wrist should not be stiffening or immobilising the wrist.

You will find a variety of these affordable bandages in well-known online shops, health retailer and gyms etc.

In weight training, so-called fitness gloves with wrist support are often used. These gloves are available in different versions, as half or full finger gloves, and are also particularly good for protection.

Alternatively you can simply use an elastic strap and put it around the wrist several times and between the thumb and forefingers (not too tight).

What else can I do for my tendons?

Tendons largely consist of collagen (different types) and tend to have a poor recovery ability. It is a so-called brady trophic tissue (with a slow metabolism), so it’s a tissue with only few blood vessels and nerves.
In advanced years the collagen self-production is reduced, and tendons become less elastic.

In this case a consciously healthy nutrition as well as nutritional supplements can help.
There are very good supplements on the market, but unfortunately a lot of them are also overpriced and useless. Therefore we cannot and do not want to make a recommendation in this area.

Please be well advised and talk to your GP or pharmacist.

Special risk groups, activities, sports

Although our Masalo® cuff is very effective, there are customers from special risk groups or sports, some of whom have a longer recovery duration.

Particularly stressful are activities with:
Screwdrivers, impact drills, machines that generate heavy vibrations, hammers, chisels, saws, fine-motor movements of the fingers and wrist (dentists, opticians, podiatry, etc.), frequent repetitions, etc.

Particularly stressful sports are:

  • Table tennis (movements from the wrist)
  • Mountainbiking (due to the vibrations)
  • Climbing
  • Weight lifting & body building
  • Golf
  • Tennis

Stretching exercises

Every athlete knows that stretching and warming-up is good and important. However, there are many websites all over the internet that recommend stretching exercises when suffering from a tennis elbow and a golfer’s elbow and provide relevant instructions. Part of the claims involve that the tennis elbow / Golferarm is just a cramp.

In this chapter, you will learn ia.:

  • Is stretching useful?
  • How do I stretch properly?
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We do not want to shed a bad light on these exercises, which obviously help some people, nor do we want to negatively evaluate them. However, for plenty of our customers stretching exercises had drastic consequences. For this reason, we urge you to be careful.

These stretching exercises are executed by stretching the arm and then bending and stretching the hand against resistance. So you exert strong forces on the injured tendons (see also the above explanations under “flexor and extensor of the wrist“)

There is also the so-called “hanging on the pole” – whereby one hangs on a pole (usually fastened in the door frame), which also strongly pulls on the tendons.

Our advice regarding stretching exercises:

We do not agree with the recommendation from some websites which recommend to “stretch against the pain”.

If you want to do stretching exercises etc., we strongly advise you to do this with care and caution. If you find those stretching exercises to be detrimental to you, pause them. Listen to your body. If, for example, the existing tennis-elbow complaints also show pain on the golfer’s elbow after doing stretching exercises, you should urgently speak to your doctor.

Physiotherapy & massages

As an alternative treatment to the very controversial stretching exercises described in the previous chapter, physiotherapy and massages may possibly make a positive contribution to the healing of the epicondylitis. Also, inflammations and how to effectively treat them is part of the following section.

In this chapter, you will learn ia.:

  • Is physiotherapy useful?
  • Can massages really help me?
  • What can I do personally?
  • Cervical spine
  • Treating inflammations
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As already mentioned, some people assume that a tennis elbow / golfer’s elbow is just a cramp. Due to the numerous customer contacts and our own suffering stories and years of research, we cannot agree with this statement.

But as often, even in this statement lays a small spark of truth.

The human being has a so-called pain memory and your subconscious mind “knows” after a certain time: “Careful, now it will be packed again, soon the pain will come …”

As a result, you unconsciously adopt restraint, which means you are “cramped” to certain things and activities. In addition to an unfavourable posture (more on this can be found in the chapter “chiropractic treatments”), this often also leads to muscle cramps. A tensed muscle contracts and strains the tendons a lot harder than usual.

Many customers report that these cramps in the muscles of the forearm can even be felt and they describe them as “little bumps”, ie calluses.

Of course, professional physiotherapy is the treatment of choice here, but unfortunately there are restrictions on reimbursement and physiotherapy is not available free of charge.

A really good alternative are massages with a spiky massage ball or a fascia role.

Buy one of the spiky “hedgehog” balls, often available for under £10 in a double pack on well-known online shops.

Massaging instructions:

Massage (better, get massaged) the entire forearm muscles several times a week, after work for about 10-15 minutes. Roll the massaging ball with pressure (so that it is still good to bear, but already clearly noticeable) slowly from the wrist towards the elbow.

As a result, cramps dissolve and you create a higher blood flow, which is beneficial for the healing process. In addition, this method is very gentle and pleasant.

Treating inflammations & care after the massage

An epicondylitis usually consists of two problems. The tendons cause microtrauma (microcracks) and the body reacts with an inflammation.

Although this inflammation disappears during the healing process in many cases, it also may spread.

Please be sure to talk to a doctor about the treatment options for inflammation, there are numerous and good options there.

If you have the feeling that the inflammation spreads throughout your arm, possibly even in the direction of the shoulder, you should consult a doctor. Even in the shoulder sits a bursa that can get inflamed. The bursitis is very painful and the treatment of such a bursitis can be tedious.

If you e.g. feel a rest pain, without straining the arm, there is a suspicion that an inflammation is existent.

Often the inflammation disappears as soon as the tendons heal. You can also support this.

Proven skin remedies include, for example, lace wraps, anti-inflammatory ointments, quark wraps, cooling etc.

You should use an anti-inflammatory ointment according to the instructions for use and apply it several times a day.

For support and after the massage it is very pleasant, to apply a quark wrap (use cold cottage cheese), then rinse your elbow with an ointment of your choice.

Chiropractic treatments

As soon as you can cope with your everyday life carefree and painfree again, apart from the occasional “tweaking”, it can be helpful to consult a chiropractor.

Due to the described postures the vertebrae, especially the cervical vertebrae, is often no longer optimally aligned. This is usually uncomfortable and maybe even painful and can lead to several consequential damages.

The chiropractor can tackle this problem well and gently. Unfortunately, these therapists are often classified as naturopaths in Germany and other European countries, meaning that you must pay for these sessions by yourself.

Nevertheless, we recommend that you indulge yourself with a few of these sessions and have your spine straightened 🙂

Exercise & sport

Thanks to the Masalo® cuff you can load, stress, and use your arms to the full extend despite the epicondylitis. But is sports even possible, and what should be considered?

In this chapter, you will learn ia.:

  • Can I do sports despite the injury?
  • What should I consider?
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Basically, exercise improves the healing process, but there are often situations where the tennis elbow / golfer’s elbow hurts so much that you can barely move.

However, once you realise that the Masalo® cuff is relieving the affected area and reduces the pain, you are able to move and use your arms as often and as normal as possible.

Using your arm keeps you mobile, but you must be careful not to overdo it. If you are doing sports, reduce the load (take less weight when exercising) and rather do more repetitions.

Always do the exercises slowly and evenly and simply enjoy your regained quality of life.

Please read our special page for further information: “Exercising despite tennis elbow”!

What do I do if the injury recurs?

It is not a nice thought, but it is possible that the epicondylitis will come back at some point despite previous healing. How can you protect yourself against it?

In this chapter, you will learn ia.:

  • Why is the injury coming back?
  • How can I protect myself from this?
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Anyone who has ever had an epicondylitis is not immune to recurrence.

Unfortunately, it is not unusual for customers to take off the Masalo® cuff too early and then feeling pain again after a short while. If you use our cuff, use it as much as possible until you have fully recovered and then still use it prophylactically for certain activities and sports.

You should never put the cuff completely out of reach, and if you even feel like the pain may “start again”, put the cuff back on immediately. In most cases, you can prevent the injury from worsening again and consequently are painfree in just a few days.