How can I treat runner's knee or tennis elbow?

For tennis elbow, runner's knee and similar injuries, try R.I.C.E.—rest, ice, compression and elevation. Rest means that the injured area is not put through any undue strain. When icing a body part, apply the ice in a covering so that it is not in direct contact with the skin. A cotton handkerchief covering the ice is helpful. Ice the affected area several times a day, for about 20 minutes at a time. Compression is applying pressure to the injured area to stop bleeding (if any is occurring) or to reduce swelling. Elevation helps in these respects as well. Compression and elevation are to be used in the case of acute injuries, such as a twisted ankle.

These conditions fall into a category of what we call overuse syndromes. They can become chronic problems and can be very difficult to get to go away. The mainstay of treatment is rest, eliminating the repetitive stress that is creating the inflammation causing the pain. Other adjuncts to rest and activity modification such as bracing and anti-inflammatory medications can help as well. Once rest has settled things down, treatment is typical transitioned to a specific type of therapy/exercise called “eccentric” strengthening.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.