Heal Tennis Elbow With Some Time Off


Roberta Vinci’s shocking victory over Serena Williams in the semifinals of the U.S. Open this year set up an all-Italian finale. That contest saw Vinci lose to 33-year-old Flavia Pennetta, who, after her victory, promptly retired. And Serena, after writing Flavia a nice tweet, also decided to just stay off the court (although she’s a long way from retirement), skipping the China Open in Beijing and the WTA Finals in Singapore. Sometimes it’s smart to put that racket down.

If you’re also thinking about taking some time off from your tennis game (or some other arm-stressing activity) this winter because you have tennis elbow, that’s a good idea. A new study from the University of Oslo in Norway found that 75 percent of folks who took three to six months of time off, ended up in significantly better shape than those who got a cortisone injection to relive their elbow inflammation. Six to 12 weeks eased the distress for around 66 percent of those in the study.

Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, triggers pain on the outside of your upper forearm, just below the bend of the elbow. It’s a repetitive-use injury and can come from many activities, including gardening and golf. Only you and your doc can determine the best treatment for you (after looking at an MRI). Just remember, there’s a good chance that sufficient rest, gentle massage, ice (for 20 minutes three times a day at least) and anti-inflammatory meds can get you back to your favorite activity right in time for spring.


© 2015 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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Written by Drs. Oz and Roizen

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