Natural Remedies for Tennis Elbow: Types and Benefits

Natural Remedies for Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow, medically known as lateral epicondylitis, is a painful condition caused by the overuse of the forearm muscles. Despite its name, this injury is not limited to tennis players but can affect anyone who performs repetitive forearm movements. While medical treatment, is crucial for recovery, natural remedies can be used in conjunction to accelerate healing and manage symptoms. In this blog, we will explore some effective natural remedies to ease the pain and promote the healing of tennis elbow.

Understanding Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow is primarily caused by overuse and strain on the tendons that attach to the lateral epicondyle of the elbow. This repetitive stress can lead to tiny tears in the tendons, resulting in inflammation and pain. Individuals involved in activities that involve gripping, twisting, or lifting heavy objects are at higher risk of developing tennis elbow.

The most common symptom of tennis elbow is pain and tenderness on the outer side of the elbow. This discomfort may radiate down the forearm and worsen with certain movements, such as lifting objects or gripping. In some cases, swelling and stiffness may also be present.

To diagnose tennis elbow, a medical professional will typically conduct a physical examination and review the patient’s medical history. Imaging tests like X-rays or MRI scans may be ordered to rule out other potential causes of elbow pain.

Traditional Treatments for Tennis Elbow

These treatments have been widely used and studied for their effectiveness in managing the symptoms of tennis elbow. Here are some common traditional treatments:

  • Rest and Activity Modification: Resting the affected arm and avoiding activities that aggravate the condition is crucial to allow the injured tendons to heal.
  • Physical Therapy: Physical therapy plays a significant role in the treatment of tennis elbow. A qualified physical therapist can design a personalized exercise program that includes stretching and strengthening exercises for the forearm muscles.
  • Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs): Over-the-counter NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, are commonly recommended to reduce pain and inflammation associated with tennis elbow.
  • Corticosteroid Injections: In cases of severe pain and inflammation, a corticosteroid injection may be administered directly into the affected area.

Reasons To Choose Natural Remedies

area.Reasons To Choose Natural Remedies

Choosing natural remedies can offer several advantages, making them an attractive option for many individuals. Here are some compelling reasons to consider natural remedies:

  • Minimal Side Effects: Natural remedies, when used appropriately and in moderation, generally have fewer side effects compared to pharmaceutical medications. Many natural remedies are derived from plants and herbs, making them gentle on the body and less likely to cause adverse reactions.
  • Holistic Approach: Natural remedies often focus on addressing the root cause of the problem rather than just managing symptoms. They embrace a holistic approach to healing, taking into account the overall well-being of an individual and considering the interconnectedness of the body, mind, and environment.
  • Accessibility and Affordability: Natural remedies are often readily available and affordable, especially when compared to prescription medications. Many herbs, essential oils, and other natural ingredients can be found in local stores or even grown at home.
  • Sustainable and Environmentally Friendly: Natural remedies are generally more environmentally friendly and sustainable compared to synthetic pharmaceuticals. The cultivation of herbs and plants for natural remedies can be done in eco-friendly ways, reducing the overall ecological impact.

Top Natural Remedies for Tennis Elbow

When it comes to natural remedies for tennis elbow, several options can help alleviate pain, reduce inflammation, and promote healing. Here are some of the top natural remedies:

Arnica Gel and Cream

Arnica is a herb known for its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. Applying arnica gel or cream to the affected area can help reduce inflammation and ease pain. Be sure to follow the product instructions and avoid using it on broken skin.


Turmeric contains curcumin, a potent anti-inflammatory compound. Consuming turmeric as a supplement or incorporating it into meals can help reduce inflammation associated with tennis elbow. Additionally, turmeric tea can be a soothing option.


Ginger is another natural anti-inflammatory agent that can aid in relieving pain. Applying a ginger compress to the affected area or consuming ginger in various forms can be beneficial.

Epsom Salt Soak

Epsom salt baths can provide muscle relaxation and alleviate pain. Simply add Epsom salt to a warm bath and soak the affected arm for 15-20 minutes.

Essential Oils

Certain essential oils, such as peppermint and lavender, have analgesic properties. Diluting these oils and massaging them into the affected area can provide relief from pain.

Heat and Cold Therapy

Heat and Cold Therapy

Cold Therapy (Cryotherapy)

Cold therapy involves applying cold temperatures to the affected area, which causes vasoconstriction (narrowing of blood vessels) and reduces blood flow to the injured area. This helps in reducing inflammation, numbing pain, and slowing down the nerve signals that transmit pain sensations.

Cold therapy is best applied during the acute phase of an injury or when there is significant inflammation. It is especially useful during the first 48 hours after the onset of tennis elbow symptoms.

Avoid applying ice directly to the skin, as it can cause frostbite. Always use a cloth or a barrier between the ice pack and your skin.

Heat Therapy (Thermotherapy)

Heat therapy involves applying warmth to the affected area, which causes vasodilation (widening of blood vessels) and increases blood flow. This increased blood flow delivers more oxygen and nutrients to the injured tissues, promoting the healing process and helping to relax tense muscles.

Heat therapy is generally more appropriate during the subacute or chronic phase of an injury, typically after the first 48 hours.

Do not use heat therapy if there is still significant swelling or inflammation, as it can worsen the condition. Additionally, be cautious with the temperature to avoid burns, especially if using a heating pad.


Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) technique that involves inserting thin, sterile needles into specific points on the body to promote healing, reduce pain, and improve overall well-being. The practice of acupuncture dates back thousands of years and is based on the concept of balancing the flow of energy, known as “Qi” (pronounced “chee”), through pathways called meridians.

According to TCM theory, when the flow of Qi is disrupted or blocked, it can lead to various health issues, including pain and illness. By inserting needles at specific acupuncture points along the meridians, acupuncturists aim to restore the balance of Qi, facilitating the body’s natural healing processes.

Stretches and Exercises

stretching and strengthening exercises are essential components of the treatment and rehabilitation of tennis elbow. These exercises aim to improve the flexibility, strength, and function of the forearm muscles and tendons, reducing pain and promoting healing.

However, it’s crucial to perform these exercises correctly and without exacerbating the condition. Consult with a healthcare professional or a physical therapist before starting any exercise program for tennis elbow. Here are some stretches and exercises commonly recommended for tennis elbow:

Wrist Extensor Stretch:

  • Extend your affected arm straight in front of you, palm facing down.
  • Use your other hand to gently bend your wrist downward until you feel a stretch in the forearm.
  • Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds, then release.
  • Repeat the stretch 3 to 5 times, several times a day.

Wrist Flexor Stretch:

  • Extend your affected arm straight in front of you, palm facing up.
  • Use your other hand to gently bend your wrist downward until you feel a stretch in the forearm.
  • Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds, then release.
  • Repeat the stretch 3 to 5 times, several times a day.

Lifestyle Tips for Managing Tennis Elbow

In addition to natural remedies, certain lifestyle adjustments can further assist in managing tennis elbow:

  • Ergonomic Adjustments: Ensure proper ergonomics at work and during daily activities to minimize strain on the affected arm.
  • Rest and Activity Balance: Avoid overusing the affected arm while allowing it sufficient time to rest and heal.
  • Stress Management: Stress can exacerbate pain, so incorporating stress-reduction techniques like meditation or yoga can be beneficial.

Preventing Tennis Elbow

Prevention is always better than cure, and taking proactive measures can help reduce the risk of developing tennis elbow:

  • Warm-up Exercises: Before engaging in physical activities, perform warm-up exercises to prepare the muscles for movement.
  • Proper Sports Techniques: Ensure you use proper techniques and equipment while playing sports to avoid strain on the elbow.
  • Strengthening Exercises for Prevention: Regularly engage in exercises that target forearm strength to reduce the likelihood of injury.

When to Consult a Professional

While natural remedies can be effective, it is essential to seek professional advice in certain situations:

  • Persistent Pain: If the pain persists or worsens despite using natural remedies, consult a healthcare provider for further evaluation.
  • Worsening Symptoms: Any worsening of symptoms or development of new concerns should be addressed by a medical professional.

Remember that natural remedies complement conventional treatments but are not a substitute for medical advice.


Managing tennis elbow effectively requires a comprehensive approach that addresses pain, inflammation, and the underlying cause of the condition. Natural remedies provide a valuable option for individuals seeking a more holistic and gentle approach to healing. From arnica gel to turmeric and ginger, each remedy offers unique benefits for alleviating discomfort and promoting recovery. Additionally, lifestyle natural remedies for tennis elbow play a crucial role in maintaining elbow health and preventing future occurrences.

If you’re experiencing Elbow pain, physical therapy for elbow pain at PhysioMantra can help: Book an online physical therapy session.