Struggling with the nagging pain of tennis elbow? You're certainly not alone in this. Imagine a world where this discomfort is just a distant memory, thanks to the right supplement and therapeutic exercises.
We've consulted with industry experts to bring you an engaging, informative guide on the best supplements for tennis elbow. This isn't just about products; it's about understanding your pain and finding a path to relief.
Our friendly, expert-backed insights are here to light the way, offering hope and actionable solutions. Let's embark on this healing journey together, exploring options that promise to bring back the comfort and freedom you've been missing.
But First, Is It Tennis Elbow or Golfer's Elbow?
"Tennis elbow" and "Golfer's elbow" are two common elbow conditions that are often confused due to their similar symptoms. However, they affect different parts of the elbow and are caused by different motions:
Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis):
- Location: Affects the outer (lateral) part of the elbow.
- Cause: Overuse of the muscles and tendons of the forearm and elbow, particularly with repetitive wrist and arm motions. While it's named after tennis, many activities can cause it, not just racket sports.
- Symptoms: Pain and tenderness on the outside of the elbow, which may radiate into the forearm and wrist. Pain is typically worsened by activities that involve gripping or lifting, especially when the palm is facing upwards.
Golfer's Elbow (Medial Epicondylitis):
- Location: Affects the inner (medial) side of the elbow.
- Cause: Overuse or strain of the muscles and tendons that control wrist and finger movements, often due to repetitive or forceful wrist and finger motions.
- Symptoms: Pain and tenderness on the inside of the elbow, possibly extending along the inner side of the forearm. The pain may worsen with certain movements, like swinging a golf club, lifting, or gripping objects.
Understanding the Role of Supplements in Managing Elbow Tendinopathies
Dietary supplements, specifically those containing collagen-derived peptides, have promising clinical implications in tendinopathy. Better functional and clinical outcomes for tendinopathy-related issues are due to the combination of dietary supplements and training.
Nutritional supplements containing boswellia, bromelain, vitamin C, MSM, glucosamine, and chondroitin have the potential as an adjunctive method. This method is associated with standard treatment methods like exercise, where the anti-inflammatory, structural tendon and pain-relief effects may augment functional outcomes from exercise rehabilitation that are progressing.
Tennis Elbow Treatment
A study provided conventional treatment approaches to lateral elbow tendinopathy (tennis elbow), including:
- Eccentric exercises - Are slow in progression and should be done with an extended elbow, forearm pronation, and wrist in the extended position as high as possible.
- Stretching exercises - Stretching exercises like static stretching are recommended to be done three times before and three times after eccentric exercises for 30-40 seconds. Between each procedure, there's a 30-second rest interval during each treatment session.
Golfer's Elbow Treatment
A clinical overview from the National Library of Medicine provided examples of conventional treatments for Golfer's Elbow:
- Activity modification - Ice pack application is beneficial to treat the affected area. Modification of activities and refraining from using affected arm movements that cause pain.
- Orthoses/braces - Wearing a brace to obtain relief to reduce the muscle and tendon strain on the affected arm. The typical brace should be worn for 6 weeks and should be an inelastic, non-articular proximal forearm strap.
- Physical therapy - Massages and exercises focus on vascularizing and stretching the common flexor tendon (CFT). They lead to the restoration and strengthening of the muscle tendon.
Types of Supplements for Tennis Elbow
- Omega-3 fatty acids - A 7 month supplementation of omega-3 improves epicondylitis or tennis elbow pain.
- Curcumin (Turmeric) - Combining curcuminoids and boswellia serrata shows good safety and improves patients' tendinopathy symptoms, regardless of its cause and localization.
- Vitamin C - Either alone or in products, vitamin C supplementation has a consequent improvement in a patient with tendinopathy as it increases collagen synthesis.
- Magnesium - Crucial for the contraction and relaxation of muscles, helping in elbow swelling and pain.
- Bromelain - Oral supplementation has a beneficial role in alleviating pain and tendon healing.
- Glucosamine and chondroitin - In DAIGO Tendiplus (dietary supplement), Glucosamine and chondroitin reduced joint stiffness and pain in 24 weeks for patients with chronic mild or moderate lateral epicondylitis.
- MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) - Lignisul MSM provided significant recovery with its anti-inflammatory action for short-term injuries/flare-ups of athletic injuries that are previously induced. One patient with right lateral epicondylitis was treated.
- Zinc - Important for collagen production synthesis, leading to long-term tendon repairment.
- B-Vitamins - Vitamin B12 injection alone or plus acupuncture provided short-term pain relief for lateral elbow pain.
- Collagen - Within 6 months of treatment, collagen with autologous platelet-rich plasma showed significant improvement in elbow symptoms and objective strength measures for treating elbow tendinopathy.
Physio Flex Pro as a supplement is a good combination if you want to experience the benefits of all these ingredients. This includes boswellia, turmeric for anti-inflammatory effects, and bromelain, MSM, and selenium to alleviate pain in your Tennis Elbow, making it less uneasy for you to accomplish typing tasks and grip heavy tools.
A trusted omega-3 brand is Biorixil, which can improve bone density and calcium absorption for a more resilient elbow free from external pain. This supplement contains both krill oil and fish oil, which are crucial in alleviating elbow inflammation. Biorixil is recommended for athletes, gym rats, and working individuals seeking a vegan alternative joint supplement.
These can be bought together here. ➡️
Efficacy of Supplements for Golfer's Elbow
Supplements play a vital role in treating a Golfer's Elbow as they provide the same benefits as treatment for Tennis Elbow. Such supplements can reduce inflammation, pain, and stiffness in the affected elbow.
According to a 2017 study, both interventional and conservative treatment options exist for epicondylitis (golfer's elbow and tennis elbow). Patients may receive extracorporeal shock wave therapy, physical therapy, corticosteroids, and NSAIDs for knee osteoarthritis. Also, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has high-quality evidence of its contribution to medial epicondylitis (golfer's elbow).
Types of Supplements for Golfer's Elbow
- Omega-3 fatty acids - Recommended for those who experience tendinopathy due to its ability to reduce inflammation.
- Curcumin (Turmeric) - Demonstrates a significant biological antioxidant, antialgic, and anti-inflammatory power.
- Vitamin C - Can reduce muscle soreness with Vitamin E supplementation compared to the placebo group.
- Magnesium - Often used for diagnosis, Magnesium-based imaging (MRI) can exclude intra articular or soft tissue issues or damage to the ulnar collateral ligament. It's particularly the most efficient test to determine a golfer's elbow (medial epicondylitis).
- Bromelain - Helps with alleviating joint swelling and intensifies joint mobility.
- Glucosamine and chondroitin - Provided improvement in collagen synthesis and degradation balance through a 16-week follow-up.
- MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) - Recommended as a daily supplement due to its pain-reducing and cartilage-protective effect, along with anti-inflammatory properties.
Although Golfer's Elbow is less common than tennis elbow, it's still crucial to treat it immediately to avoid experiencing severe conditions. Physio Flex Pro and Biorixil are recommended supplements to alleviate elbow pain. These supplements will help you regain your golfing skills and reduce working discomfort.
In-depth Analysis of Key Supplements
The following are crucial key supplements to treat Tennis Elbow and Golfer's Elbow:
- Omega-3 fatty acids - Improved range of motion compared to placebo and reduction of muscle work output were observed due to 600 mg of EPA and 260 mg of DHA (sources of omega-3 fatty acids) for 8 weeks. All supplement intake must be taken whole without being dissolved, crushed, and chewed in the mouth.
- Curcumin (Turmeric) - A dosage of 90-500 mg daily increases antioxidant capacity and reduces muscle damage.
- Vitamin C - Provided pain reduction in 83% of patients with tennis elbow on a dosage of 60 mg. Also, when combined with a gelatin-rich supplement and a dosage of 48.5 mg, Vitamin C increases collagen's circulating levels of amino acid components.
- Bromelain - Reduces joint pain and stiffness when combined in a dietary supplement to treat chronic mild to moderate lateral epicondylitis. Recommended dosage varies from 500 to 2,000 mg.
Side Effects of Key Supplements
While key supplements are crucial for Tennis Elbow and Golfer's Elbow, below are their potential side effects:
- Blood-thinning effects
- Skin rash
- Allergic reactions
- Stomach upset
Contraindications of Key Supplements
Before taking these supplements, make sure to consult a healthcare professional first. People with bleeding disorders and pregnant or breastfeeding women don't usually receive the go signal to take these supplements. Avoid curcumin if you have a liver or any biliary disease. Vitamin C is often contraindicated with hemochromatosis and thalassemia as blood disorders, so avoid taking this before or following angioplasty.
Lifestyle and Dietary Considerations
Lifestyle and diet play significant roles in ensuring that conditions like Tennis Elbow and Golfer's Elbow will not reoccur or proceed to more severe conditions. Regular stretching and strengthening exercises are vital to achieve a healthy weight and prevent these conditions. Foods rich in nutrients consist of the necessary vitamins and minerals to maintain and repair tissues.
Below are complementary dietary changes and activities that you can do at home:
- Ice and heat therapy
- Bracing and support
- Protein intake
- Eat anti-inflammatory foods (fatty fish, nuts, and seeds)
Expert Opinions and Case Studies
A 2015 prospective study provided nine cases of golfer's elbow between August 2014 and April 2015 that were managed with intralesional steroids. Researchers concluded that a soft tissue disorder is the golfer's elbow. The procedure of injecting intralesional steroids is associated with complications and will not give significant relief to patients with golfer's elbow.
A 2017 study showed that corticosteroid injection exceeded its effect by reducing pain and increasing function with platelet-rich plasma (PRP) in treating patients with epicondylitis after six months.
1. What are the most effective supplements for reducing pain associated with tennis elbow?
The key supplements for tennis elbow include omega-3 fatty acids, curcumin, vitamin C, and bromelain. Aside from alleviating pain, they're proven effective in increasing collagen synthesis, improving symptoms, and reducing inflammation.
2. How long should I take a supplement before seeing improvements in my elbow condition?
Improvements after supplement intake typically take 2-8 weeks. Surgery for damaged tissue removal is optional if no improvements appear 6-12 months later.
3. Is there a difference in the type of supplements recommended for tennis elbow vs. golfer's elbow?
Key supplements like omega-3 fatty acids, curcumin, vitamin C, and bromelain are used to treat Tennis Elbow and Golfer's Elbow. However, since Golfer's Elbow is less common than tennis elbow, the latter is usually treated with other ingredients like glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, and vitamin B.
4. What are the latest scientific advancements in supplements for tendon-related issues?
Dr. Siddharth Padia from UCLA Health introduced a new medical procedure to treat tennis and golfer's elbow. The Elbow Artery Embolization (EAE) aims to decrease inflammation by slowing down or delaying the flow of blood in parts of the elbow. A 78-year-old patient treated by Dr. Padia had a 6-month follow-up for post-procedure of the EAE. The patient experienced pain improvement, and his elbow felt normal, which allowed him to play racket sports at 100% capacity.
In a recent study, many researchers inhibited inflammation for tendon repair by exploiting electrospun scaffolds to reduce tissue adhesion. In the same study, microspheres are often exploited for tendon inflammation and tendon bone healing as small-scale injuries that need repairing. An injectable dexamethasone-loaded PLGA containing microspheres is exploited to increase anti-inflammatory cytokines levels and treat Achilles tendinitis healing.
Tennis Elbow and Golfer's Elbow are part of the many issues surrounding our tendon health that require efficient treatment. Both conditions can be treated with primary supplements like omega-3 fatty acids, curcumin, vitamin C, and turmeric.
However, it's important to note that Tennis Elbow, in which the pain occurs on the outer part of your elbow, is more common than Golfer's Elbow or the pain in the inner part of your elbow. While the supplements above effectively treat such conditions, it would take weeks to see improvement in your elbows, considering that individual experiences from supplement intake may vary.
Therefore, it's crucial to consult a healthcare professional first for personal consultation before starting any supplement to be aware of the benefits and potential side effects you might encounter.