How can Tennis Elbow happen:
I found a lot of information on this front that was confusing to me. It seemed to indicate that the condition was caused by repetitive movements. But I specifically hurt mine in a grappling tournament where I was fighting really hard (but not in repetitive ways.) I have also read some articles that seem to indicate it can be caused by being under hydrated during your workouts. I can’t say for sure rather it was a hydration problem for me. But I will say: The tension on the joints and tendons in various forms of grappling definitely seem to be able to cause this. In my explorations I found a lot of grapplers asking for insights on this condition.
What are the Symptoms of Tennis Elbow:
The first thing I started to do was understand where exactly tennis elbow should hurt. Is it on the inside? On the outside? I found a lot of people writing about symptoms similar to but not exactly where mine was. I did however, find that over time mine would hurt in different places (sometimes even in my wrist and should as well.)
Bottom line: If you have pain in your elbow that doesn’t seem to just go away like a sore muscle after a few days, if it especially hurts when your grip (for me the worst pain was gripping my laptop to lift it out of my computer bag), if it is more than just a pain, but actually feels like it makes you weak in the arm with certain actions, then you likely have a tendon condition (note: I’m not a doctor… these are only my opinions and experiences.)
Don’t fool yourself:
I spent a full month not taking this condition seriously enough. I would take a few days off, and then convince myself I would just go “light.” Then I took a whole week. Then a bit more. I was just getting worse. I have (stupidly) fought through broken bones that were not fully healed, and in other conditions I should not have fought in. None of them would punish me for my foolishness like Tennis Elbow. Don’t shrug it off. If you make it worse it will just take longer to heal.
How Long does Tennis Elbow take to Heal:
I found a lot of different reports on this front. I will tell you mine. By the end of an entire month I was no longer in constant pain. It was enough better that I considered getting back on the mats. But I would still do little things (like lifting that stupid laptop) that would remind me that it wasn’t really gone. It wasn’t fixed. I needed to give it time.
By the middle of the second month it got even more tempting. I felt good. I had strength back. But still (less frequent) reminders of pain.
A full two months, which was so difficult for me to do that I wasn’t sure my self control was up to the test, was what it took for me to really feel fully healed. I feel so much better now. I’m glad I waited.
What can I do in the meantime to help it:
Ice bags were my best friend. Use them very often.
Exercises. If you want to find the right exercises, just search for “Tennis Elbow” on Youtube. You’ll find tons of them. Candidly, I never felt that they did much for me. Maybe because I tend to be pretty strong. Maybe they did h
elp and I just don’t know… But I can’t tell you how much they help… I really don’t know. I didn’t do them much.
Massage. Find someone good at massage and have them really, really work that arm and elbow. Warning: This is going to hurt like hell. But afterward you’ll be shocked how much better it feels. I was told by a masseuse that I makes the muscled surrounding the tendons more relaxed so the tendons can move more freely. I don’t know the truth of why it helps, but I can tell you for sure that it does.