Heat or ice for tennis elbow has been considered one of many tennis elbow treatments since the beginning of time. It’s one of the easiest, too.
Using Heat Or Ice For Tennis Elbow Is An Ancient Treatment
And you can easily understand how back in the early days of civilization, using heat or ice for tennis elbow was one of the most natural types of tennis elbow treatments.
Even before refrigeration hit the scene as the latest and greatest technology, ice was available.
It’s entirely possible that those who lived in cold climates saw the value of using ice to numb an area that was hurting, and before long, ice became one of the established tennis elbow treatments.
Heat is another no-brainer. How many people in ancient days saw the value of sitting in a hot springs where their ailments were relieved? Probably all of them! One didn’t have to be a doctor to realize that heat would be soothing to the pain of tennis elbow.
Using Heat Or Ice For Tennis Elbow: When Is The Best Time?
But how do you use heat or ice for tennis elbow and when is it appropriate to do so?
The use of heat or ice for tennis elbow follows simple rules:
1. Determine How New The Injury Is
Heat and ice both are used for the treatment of many different types of sports injuries, not just as tennis elbow treatments. They’re also used for traumatic injuries, and is pretty successful as a pain killer.
Isn’t that amazing in itself – that you don’t necessarily have to take a pill to decrease pain? You can decrease pain by taking specific natural and conservative actions that will cut the pain immediately.
Yet our society is hooked to the idea that we must have a painkiller medication to kill pain, and some people can’t imagine that anything natural could work!
In new injuries, there will often be a lot of inflammation (rule #2), and this means that using cold treatments (ice) will be effective.
In older injuries, they respond better to the application of heat as in hot packs. The heat brings extra circulation to the area.
2. Determine Whether Inflammation Is Great Or Not
Thus, the rule of when to use heat or ice for tennis elbow is whenever there’s inflammation, use ice. To determine whether of not inflammation is the main problem, ask yourself this question:
Have I re-injured myself by performing certain movements that bring on pain?
If the answer to the question is yes, then you can consider that inflammation is interfering with healing. Start out with a cold pack, then use heat afterwards. (see rule #3)
3. Consider Using Both Treatments
There are times when you can use both treatments. If ice numbs the area and slows down blood flow, you want the ice to work directly against inflammation.
If heat warms the area and brings extra nutrients to the area, you want this physiological action – but not when the area is already inflamed.
But using innovation and creativity, man came up with the idea that you could use both together for a better clinical result.
When would this be most appropriate? When there’s a lot of inflammation or a lot of chronic pain. Both situations warrant the alternating use of heat and cold – or cold and heat.
Here’s An Example: Reinjury
You just reinjured your elbow in doing some type of activity. The pain is throbbing type of pain, which indicates lots of inflammation.
What to use: Cold first, followed by heat. By using ice treatment first, you can decrease the inflammation, then speed up the circulation to clean out the area. Follow with cold again and heat afterwards. See how this works?
Here’s Another Example: Dull Pain
You wake up with the same old dull pain of tennis elbow. What to use: Heat first to bring added nutrients to the area of the tennis elbow, followed by cold, then use heat again.
Whenever you use heat or ice for tennis elbow together, you are creating a pumping action within the tissues. The heat pumps in the nutrients; the ice pumps out the inflammation. It’s a nice little arrangement – and it’s all controlled by you.
When Would You Make The Wrong Mistake?
Just to flesh out your knowledge on the topic, it’s good to look at ice or heat treatments from a perspective of when you absolutely shouldn’t use them.
Absolutely don’t use heat treatments when you feel an exceptional amount of heat coming from the site of the injury. In this case, you must use ice first.
And absolutely don’t use ice treatments when there’s been any nerve damage over long periods of time. Use heat to stimulate the circulation to the area.
But do remember that one of the best ways you can accelerate healing is to strengthen the area with exercise. You’ll find info about that in the ebook, Tennis Elbow Secrets Revealed.