Ice Or Heat For Tennis Elbow Inflammation

OK, what's the first thing that comes to mind when you pull or strain a muscle? Well, besides the obvious, ouch that hurts as you crumple over in pain…You need to know the proper way to prevent further injury so the muscle can heal properly. I often get asked by my personal fitness training clients, should I use ice or heat on a torn or injured muscle. Hands down, always go with ice first!

When a muscle gets torn or strained, it almost immediately starts to swell and inflame. You need to get control of the swelling and the fastest way is to apply ice!

Here is a fail-proof method to make sure you are ready to act the next time you tear or strain a muscle…(Hint: This works quite well for tennis elbow.

Icing Tips Tennis Elbow

1) Apply an ice pack directly on the outside of your elbow (after covering the area with a clean towel). Keep the ice on for 15 to 20 minutes per hour during the first few hours.

If you don't have a proper ice pack available, you can use a small bag of frozen vegetables or a plastic bag filled with ice cubes.

2) Reduce the frequency of applying the ice packs to 15 to 20 minutes every 3 or 4 hours during the second day after the injury.

3) Ensure you are elevating your elbow above heart level to to help minimize inflammation. The easiest way to do this is to prop your arm up with a pillow.

4) Make sure that the outside of your elbow is clean and dried off after the ice pack is removed.

5) Continue icing your arm everyday until the swelling has gone down.

If the pain and swelling has not significantly decreased by the third day, consult a doctor immediately, since the tear is probably more severe than you originally thought or you may even have a more serious injury, like a broken bone.

There you have it. Hands down the most effective way to decrease muscle strain inflammation and even tennis elbow swelling! No more excuses for a swollen muscle right!

Geoff Hunt is a certified personal fitness trainer, exercise rehab specialist, tennis elbow survivor and author of the internet's best selling system for tennis elbow treatment

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