When you have tennis elbow, you want relief. You also don’t want to waste your time doing anything that isn’t going to speed up your healing.
One of the treatments that almost every health practitioner recommends for tennis elbow relief is the use of ice to decrease inflammation and decrease pain. Because ice seems like such a simple type of treatment, many people assume they can figure out how to use it.
Below is a little test to see how much you truly know about how to use ice for tennis elbow.
How Do You Use Ice For Tennis Elbow?
1. True or false: When you use an ice pack for tennis elbow relief, place the ice pack on the part of your elbow closest to the body.
2. True or false: If you don’t have an official ice pack, take an ice cube out of the freezer (or a few ice cubes and wrap in a washcloth) and use that.
3. True or false: If you don’t have an official ice pack, take a thick frozen steak out of the freezer and use that on the elbow for tennis elbow pain.
4. What do you do with the ice pack after you get it out of the freezer?
5. What is the purpose of the towels in ice therapy for tennis pain relief?
6. True or false: It’s okay to rub an ice cube right over the elbow joint to get elbow pain relief.
7. True or false: Nowadays, there’s a new type of cold pack made out of buckwheat that can be used for a cold pack. To use this, place in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes prior to use.
8. Multiple answers. How long should you leave a cold pack on your elbow?
- 5 minutes and no more
- 10 minutes and no more
- 15 minutes and no more
- until you freeze the elbow
- until your elbow feels the cold without freezing it
- until your elbow gets cold, then it’s done
- none of these
9. What should you do after icing your tennis elbow?
10. If you are going to exercise your elbow, is it better to ice it before or after the exercise and why?
11. How many times a day should you use ice for tennis elbow pain relief?
Tennis Elbow Treatment Test Answers
1. False. Tennis elbow affects the outer part of the elbow, not the inner part. The ice pack should go on top of the outer part of the elbow, not the inner part.
2. True. But don’t use it directly on the skin.
3. True. A steak may be substituted for an ice pack if you really are in dire straights for tennis elbow relief.
4. After placing 3 to 4 single layers of towels on your elbow, place the ice pack on top. Then cover the ice pack with another towel layer.
5. The towels prevent the freezing of the skin and allow the cold to diffuse into the area slowly. It’s more effective this way.
6. False. Rubbing an ice cube directly over the elbow joint may seem effective, but it is the wrong application of ice. When you do it this way, you subject the tissues to too much cold at one time. Ever hear of frostbite? Frostbite can leave a body part sensitive to cold for the rest of one’s life.
7. False. The buckwheat cold packs should be placed in the freezer, not the refrigerator. When using the buckwheat cold pack, you may still use one towel layer in between the cold pack and your elbow.
8. B and E are the correct answers.
9. You may follow ice treatment with heat. This will bring new circulation to the area.
10. If you are planning on exercising your elbow, icing it before the exercise would not do you much good because it will numb your elbow so that you are unable to feel pain. This can result in creating more damage inside the elbow joint and on the tendon. Ice your elbow after the exercise.
11. As often as you need to. Even once an hour is fine.
How did you do? No matter what you scored on this test, you are now, no doubt, ready to use ice for tennis elbow relief.
What exercises will you do? Probably the easiest way to find out is to get the book, Tennis Elbow Secrets Revealed.