Tennis Elbow Ayurvedic Treatment

Tennis elbow is usually caused by the over-usage of elbow joint (ie excessive movement of wrist and arm). There will be pain on the outer side of elbow which increases on movement of the joint. This disease develops when the tendons (end part of muscles that attaches to a bone) got inflamed. It is common among tennis players (who have to do more arm movements), but anyone can be a victim if there is repeated movement of elbow. The pain often spreads from elbow to arm muscles or even up to fingers. 

Signs and symptoms

 The major symptoms of tennis elbow are pain over elbow joint which may spread down to arm and fingers, weakness of arm muscles, difficulty to hold objects/ bear weight and painful movements of the arm. 

Ayurvedic analysis

 When vata get aggravated and dislodged in sandhi (joints) it results in pain and is termed as ‘sandhigata vata’ (vitiation of vata in joints). Specifically, this condition is named as ‘Viswachi’ depending on the sandhi affected. Vata attacks the kandara (structures like ligaments and tendons) opposite to fingers on the external aspect of hand, and develops Viswachi. 

Causative factors (Ayurveda)

 Vata is aggravated by its own causative factors (like over consumption of bitter/ pungent/ astringent tastes, dry/ cold food items, skipping meals, over activity, injury, reduced quality of bone/ dhatukshaya etc). The symptoms of Sandhigata vata are pain, swelling and restricted joint movements. The specific symptom in Viswachi is restricted hand movements. 

Possible complications

 Long term disease will cause severe pain and movement restrictions of the joint which interfere with daily activities. 

Other systemic diseases and precautions to be taken

 Assess whether the patient is suffering from any systemic disease like diabetes, before planning the treatment as it may influence the effect of treatment badly. 

Management

 As it is a vatavyadhi, treatment is targeted to normalise vata. Internal medication includes suitable kashaya, arishta, gutika (tablets), churna (medicinal powders) etc. Depending on the state of dosha, prakruthi, occupation, place of residence, associated diseases and several other factors, the physician decides treatment procedures like snehana therapy (eg: abhyanga/ oil massage over body), swedana (eg: local of full body kizhi), agnikarma (cauterisation), lepana (external application of medicine) and upanaha (bandaging with medicine) over the site of pain. Along with the treatment, proper rest is also needed. If there is mental stress, manage it accordingly. 

Diet

 Avoid very cold/ spicy/ salty/ bitter tasting food, skipping of meals, Bengal gram etc as per the direction of physician. 

Exercises

 Proper rest is needed during treatment as this disease is developed due to over activity of the joint. 

Preventive aspects

 Take proper rest in between works that demand excessive movement of elbow joint. Apply suitable oil over the joint before bathing. Avoid sedentary habit and maintain body weight within healthy limits. Avoid stress, alcohol and smoking habit. Take food containing all the six tastes. Ensure adequate sleep. Drink more water. 

Importance of diet

  Selecting right food is the key to stay healthy. Sticking on to a healthy diet habit can prevent diseases to an extent. 

Lifestyle

 After treatment, the patient should follow the diet advised by the physician. Take rest in between work demanding repeated elbow movement. Daily oil massage all over the body is beneficial to prevent recurrence. Maintain healthy body weight.

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