Isn’t it amazing how a spot of irritation can rule your whole day? Tennis Elbow is a common complaint from weekend warriors to cubicle cuties it’s no respecter of persons but, the pain of it all can be relieved naturally and affordably. Try this first before considering something more drastic like a shot of cortisone that can break down joint health long term.
Tennis elbow is a painful condition located around the protruding bone on the outside of the elbow (see red spot in photo). It results from overuse of the forearm muscles, and is a form of tendinitis. Despite its common name, it is usually a result of activities other than tennis. The muscles that attach to the outer side of the elbow pass along the back of the forearm and wrist, and act to extend the wrist. With repetitive or strenuous activity, the point where these muscles attach to bone becomes damaged and inflamed, and hurts!
Symptoms to look for:
- Pain on the outer side of the elbow and down the forearm, especially with use of the hand.
- Tenderness (and sometimes swelling) over the bone on the outer side of the elbow.
- Pain is especially noticed when lifting with palm facing the floor, or with the grip of a healthy handshake.
If you’re pretty certain it’s a tendon issue reach for Lemongrass. I like Lemongrass for tendons as it’s somewhat warming and has anti-inflammatory properties. “Lemongrass extracts have a beneficial effect on the inflammatory actions of cytokines, which are the signaling molecules through which the cells communicate and respond in the body. Studies have shown that lemongrass exerts anti-inflammatory action and its constituents such as citral may be the cause behind its inhibitory effects on cytokine production.” (Source)
I will usually layer Lemongrass with pure Birch or Peppermint essential oil in a bit of Naked Salve as both are analgesics that can aid in pain relief and help drive the Lemongrass a little deeper into tissue. An icy cold elbow bath is in order too, here’s my favorite Tennis Elbow protocol that’s worked for me.
- Lemongrass essential oil
- Birch essential oil
- Peppermint essential oil
- Naked Salve carrier oil base
- Ice water
- Gather your ingredients, including a big bowl of ice water that you'll be able to stick your elbow in for a good soak, the colder the better! Icing the elbow will do two things, reduce inflammation and allow blood to come surging back in as the elbow warms up. Super way to aid faster healing, blood flow is good!
- Note: If you don't have time to soak your elbow try adding a drop of Cypress essential oil to aid in circulation.
- Use 1 to 2 drops of Lemongrass and massage NEAT (undiluted) to inflamed area (see red dot in photo above). Next, add 1 to 2 drops of Birch or Peppermint to a small bit of Naked Salve or carrier oil for a final massage. Apply 2 or 3x per day or as needed. Remember to rest that elbow of any strenuous activity until it's had a chance to calm itself. Wrapping the area with a pressure band can help support the tender tendons too.