Are Cold Packs Effective for Tennis Elbow Pain Relief?
As executive moms, juggling the demands of a high-pressure job and a bustling household can take its toll on both body and mind, often resulting in conditions like tennis elbow, a condition characterised by pain and inflammation in the outer elbow. It can stem from the repetitive motions involved in daily tasks, such as typing emails or lifting groceries. Cold packs are a simple yet effective method for alleviating tennis elbow pain. In this blog, we'll explore how cold packs contribute to pain relief in tennis elbow and provide practical tips for their optimal use.
Various methods can help manage this discomfort and one simple yet effective solution that executive moms can incorporate into their routine is the use of cold packs. Cold packs (also known as cryotherapy) involves applying cold temperatures to the outer elbow and forearm to reduce inflammation and numb pain. When cold is applied to an area, blood vessels constrict, decreasing tissue metabolism, and alleviating swelling, redness, pain – which are all signs of inflammation. This decreased inflammatory signal promotes healing. Cold also slows down nerve conduction, which is why you may feel numb when applying ice to an area. This provides much-needed relief from the discomfort of tennis elbow.
Applying a cold pack is straightforward. However, you can follow these simple steps to maximize the benefits for tennis elbow pain relief: 
  1. Choose the right Cold Pack: There is no right or wrong when it comes to cold packs. These can range from a gel based cold pack to a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel. Choose one that can conform to the shape of the elbow and forearm for maximum coverage.
  2. Take precaution: Always wrap the cold pack in a cloth or towel before applying it to your skin. This step is crucial to prevent cold burns, skin damage or frostbite.
  3. Combine cold therapy with support (Brace): While cold packs can provide immediate relief, it is essential to give your elbow adequate rest to promote healing. Avoid activities that aggravate the pain and consider wearing a supportive tennis elbow brace or sleeve to stabilise the elbow.
  4. Applying cold pack: Place the cold pack on the outer side of the elbow and the bulk of your forearm muscles, where you experience the most pain and tenderness. Hold it in place for no more than 15 minutes at a time, and then give your skin a break. This can be done several times a day, especially after activities that exacerbate the pain.
  5. Pain relief gels and patches: These should ideally be used after a cold pack as some gels and patches can make the skin numb, making it difficult to judge the cold sensation and potentially leading to cold burns.. 
  6. When not to use: Cold packs should not be applied for people with diabetes or other neuropathies, who cannot differentiate between hot and cold sensations, due to risk of cold burns.
Watch this video for more details on Understanding Tennis Elbow: Causes and Symptoms.

By incorporating cold therapy into their pain management regimen, executive moms can find relief from the discomfort of tennis elbow and continue to tackle the daily challenges of work and motherhood with confidence and ease.

If you suffer from elbow pain and are not sure if the source is Tennis Elbow HERE is a free guide to "What is the source of your Elbow Pain?"
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