Treating any form of tendinitis starts with applying ice to the inflamed area. With pickleball elbow (lateral epicondylitis), you want to apply ice to the tender part of the elbow and forearm for 20-30 minutes. The duration of application depends on how cold the ice pack is. The colder the pack, the less time required and the better the results. There should always be a thin barrier between an ice pack and the skin. A pillowcase or thin kitchen towel work the best.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication can be taken to reduce swelling and pain. There are several over the counter options available. My personal choice is ibuprofen. I am always supposed to encourage people to consult with their doctor before taking new medication.
Resting the effected arm for a period of time to allow healing is very important. Although most people don’t like to take time off from playing pickleball (or any other addictive sporting activity), sometimes it is necessary to remove the stress that is causing the problem. The amount of time required to heal will vary from person to person.
Massaging the forearm muscles can give relief from pain and abnormal muscle tone. Applying a topical analgesic can also give temporary pain relief. I love the roll-ons available in the grocery stores. Neither of these treatments are as effective in the long run as the stretches mentioned in part 2, for restoring normal tone to the forearm muscles.
Although there are many other forms of treatment, those mentioned above tend to get the best results quickly. In my next post, I will go into greater detail about applying ice to injuries. I will include my own personal recipe for making the most effective homemade ice pack ever!