Tennis Elbow Remedies

| Modified on Jun 20, 2021

Tennis Elbow treatment begins with resting the elbow as repetitive movement is believed to be the cause; forearm and elbow wraps are often recommended. Treating the underlying inflammation with DMSO and herbal remedies will permit faster healing. Manual laborers and sports participants are most likely to develop this painful condition, usually in the dominant arm. Home cures for tennis elbow are usually successful providing the elbow is not damaged further.

What is Tennis Elbow?

Lateral epicondylitis, more commonly known as tennis elbow, occurs when the tendons attaching to the outside of the elbow are injured. Overuse is thought to be the cause, causing microscopic tears within the tendons attaching forearm muscles to the arm bone at the elbow. This is a degenerative process as constant use does not allow these microscopic tears to heal. Inflammation is symptomatic of the injury.

Natural Remedies for Tennis Elbow

Home cures using herbs with natural anti-inflammatory properties will reduce pain and also speed up the healing process. Ice packs temporarily relieve the pain. DMSO is valuable for its pain relief and anti-inflammatory compounds. Herbal remedies attack the inflammation and promote healing. While some may experience relief quickly, a complete cure may take months as tendons heal very slowly.


DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide) is an alternative treatment often found in locker rooms, applied topically to sore muscles and injuries. Among the many therapeutic benefits of DMSO are: anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal and promoting healing. DMSO can be mixed with cayenne extract for pain relief or with aloe which contains immune-boosting nutrients.

Turmeric, Ginger and Alfalfa

These herbal remedies are powerful natural anti-inflammatories, as well being beneficial in many other ways. They will reduce the inflammation and pain. It may take up to two months before the full effect is felt. Even if pain relief happens quickly, take precautions not to further injure the tendon before healing is complete.

Lifestyle Modification and Stretching Exercises

The best way to prevent tennis elbow from happening again is to identify which activity caused the tears in the tendon.  Learning a better way to do the causal activity or using better or different equipment can be important in the long run. If doing something hurts, try to find a way to accomplish the goal without pain. A treatment regimen including stretching exercises beginning 2-3 weeks after the pain is greatly reduced will strengthen the tendons and muscles. Any painful movements should be avoided.

Tennis Elbow can be very painful and debilitating but is cured without surgery 90% of the time. Topical applications of DMSO  and anti-inflammatory herbal cures will reduce pain and speed healing. Stretching exercises and avoiding the repetitive movements that caused the problem will be important to prevent a re-occurrence.

Coconut Oil

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Posted by Pam E. (Southern California) on 04/10/2020 130 posts

Coconut Oil is GREAT for pain due to inflammation! I used it on my 'tennis elbow' while it was healing, & was able to use my arm normally the entire time, as long as I remembered to apply it about 4 to 5 times daily.


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Posted by Jerome (Brooklyn, Ny) on 01/04/2011


First and foremost, I love this site! Second, I have recently found great relief from tennis and golfer's elbow pain that has bothered me on and off for over a decade. I am a weightlifter/former obsessive bodybuilder in my 30s who injured the tendons in my elbows some 12 years ago by doing a tricep exercise called "skull crushers" with far too much weight. I actually felt something tear in my elbows at that time. From that point forward, my elbows caused me nagging pain every few months for as long as I put pressure on them. I tried everything I could think of to rid myself of the pain--acupuncture worked somewhat, but the pain always came back. Active release technique (ART) applied by a chiropractor worked even better, but it was expensive and a hassle to keep going every week, and the pain would come back after that as well. I recently made a decision to get into the best shape of my life. Sure enough, a few weeks into my new exercise program, my elbows began to flare.

This time I did some research and came across postings by athletes/golfers/tennis players/etc. online claiming that DMSO may work for tendon-related problems. I bought some 90% diluted DMSO and applied it to my elbows. Within a few minutes my elbows felt like they had third-degree burns--they felt like they were sizzling! I actually had to wash the DMSO off after less than 10 minutes, it was burning so bad. However, the next morning when I awoke, and during the next evening's workout, I noticed a HUGE improvement in how my elbows felt. Mind you, this is after only one application! I applied it again last night, had to wash it off after only 5 minutes because I couldn't stand the burning again, but today my elbows feel even better! It really is unbelievable to me that a problem that's plagued me for so long appears to be dissolving over a matter of days.

At this point, I think there is much truth to the theory that tendon injuries are very slow to heal due to the low blood flow they normally receive in our bodies. Therefore, treatments that increase blood flow to the injured tendon (like icing or especially DMSO) are the only things that really make a difference. My experience with DMSO gives me yet another reason to thank the online healing community and to dismiss the conventional medical establishment and FDA who claim that natural treatments like DMSO are bunk and that we should all get toxic cortisone injections and needless operations instead. Good luck!

Replied by Sigma6
(Midpines, Ca, Us)

You can get DMSO Gel from Amazon that is 70% DMSO and 30% Aloe Vera. While it doesn't feel like it burns, it does itch for awhile.

Replied by Mohammed
(Ahamdi, Kuwait)

How can I use Dimethyl sulfoxide DMSO for pain in my elbow bone? Is there any other medicine to get rid of this pain? Khan

Replied by Tnselbw
(Denver, Co)

Another thing you might want to try is wearing wrist braces at night. I went 3 specialists for tennis elbow. It was so bad they put me in a cast to let it heal. After I got out of the cast (8 weeks later) the pain was still incredible. I went to an amazing physical therapist who told me to go to the drug store and buy a wrist brace ( the over the counter kind used for carpel tunnel, etc). She told me to wear the brace at NIGHT but NOT during the day. She explained that we all bend our wrists at night which pulls on the tendon to the elbow. The brace stops it. She also said you must use your arm a little during the day to keep good motion. It took a really long time to heal. I haven't had pain for 6-8 months now. If I feel a twinge in that elbow I put the brace on form3-4 nights because I don't ever want to feel that pain again! Lastly, I can even lift weights again!

Replied by Melissa N.

I love DMSO, I've used it for shingles pain. It was the only thing that worked. And only today, after having tennis elbow for 3 months, from shoveling heavy wet snow in Chicago Am I realizing that DMSO would work for this as well.

I'm a hair stylist so I have repetitive motions all day at work, that gave me low lying issues with tennis elbow. But I had it under control, until I shoveled ice and snow.

From my experience, you can only leave it on for 5-10 minutes at the most, and then you must wipe it off. It works transdermally, so it is immediate.

Thank you for sharing your experience. It helped me to run to my bathroom and apply it to my tennis elbow. Which helped immensely. Even more then painkillers or the NSAIDS I've taken. I forget how strong this is. But you can't leave it on very long, that is the side effect.

Thank you for sharing!!

Also I love Earth clinic, I have fixed so many health issues from this website! I don't know why I just didn't check here first.


1 User Review
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Posted by Gary (Wauchope, Nsw Australia) on 04/14/2010

I have been researching Magnetic Therapy for quite some years now and had a lot of good success with this therapy. A friend of mine was suffering from tendonitis for approx 3 years with not much sleep most nights, I suggested to him to place 2 small fridge magnetics under the support brace on the top of his arm and underneath as well and leave them there as long as he could stand it within 4days the brace was off and he said the 3rd night the magnets were in place it was the best he had slept in 3 years. Now the magnets I suggested were 50mm x 50mm x 1mm plastic fridge magnets that companies use for advertising or try and get hold of some magnetic strip from old fridge doors (very usefull as they can be cut to any size)the magnets don't have to be really powerful.Experiment with them and give us some feedback.

Kind regards, Gary


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Posted by Mark (Albany, NY) on 04/28/2009

I just read about MSM for tennis elbow. My freaking elbow has been killing me for like 3 days. Cracking, snapping, just all around pain like you wouldn't believe. I don't play tennis or golf, I'm a plumber so I use my hands all day. I think it's from sitting at the computer with my elbow hanging off as I use the mouse. Anyways, I was ready to cut my freaking arm off with a sawzall until I read about this MSM and decided to give it a shot. I went to the local Health store and they had come 15% pure MSM cream. Cost like $8.00 for a small bottle. Got home, still in freaking pain and rubbed it on. Okay, so no bullshit....within like 1 minute...pain gone. I am not freaking kidding, this shit really works! So whatever is in it totally works and I'm a believer. Magic bullet...pain gone! Still a little soreness but the aching, snapping is gone! Thanks Earth Clinic and your posts people! Love this site !!! Keep posting !!!!!

Replied by Manar
(Buffalo, Ny)

My sister in law said the same thing she couldnt sleep all night n that she wanted to cut her arm off from the pain.. So I went on here and read what u said which was the same exact thing she said.. So later that day she went n bought the msm cream from vitamin world.. She applied it b4 bed at 10:30 n fell asleep till 5am pain free.. At 5 am the pain started to come back so she applied again and called me in the morning to thank me.. She was skeptical like every1 else but it did the job! Thank you!

Replied by Jill
(Burlington, Ct)

Thank you for the brace idea! I use a roll-on with MSM, Arnica, Boswella. I do feel a slight burn, but it feels good! The roll-on is ideal, you don't get it all over your hands.

Replied by Rick
(New Jersey)

I was using MSM BEFORE I came down with tennis elbow. It hasn't done a thing.

Replied by Xiu

You did not have tennis elbow. MSM may be good only for muscular strain, acute joint sprain, and maybe only as pain relief.

Supplements, Turmeric, MSM

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Shawn (Cambridge, Minnesota, USA) on 01/21/2009

I woke up with tendonitis in my elbow. When I have had tendonitis, it normally has lasted 1-2 weeks minimum. With this treatment I came up with, it was almost gone in 24 hours (almost had full range of motion in arm with minimal pain), and completely gone in 36 hours.

In the first 24 hours, I took these items in the morning and evening: 3 T (instead of called for 2 T) of my daily multivitamin, 1000 mg Vitamin C with rose hips, Turmeric 400 mg/95% curcumin (that's how the label shows it). The Turmeric and Vitamin C are taken for their anti-inflammatory properties.

The last supplement, which I believe might be the most important, is MSM lotion (contains 15% MSM). I applied this lotion on the area around every 2 hours. MSM is a good natural painkiller and also works well against different muscular problems and inflammation. I noticed a remarkable decrease in pain a couple hours after applying the MSM lotion the first time, and believe that is the main cause of the decrease. I was unable to do this treatment for the first 5 hours of the tendonitis because of work, otherwise it might have been gone in 24 hours.

Replied by Leslie
(New Castle, PA)

Hi Shawn, I have had tennis elbow for a year now. I wear a brace on my forearm for support but I can't completely get rid of the problem. Where can I get MSM cream? Thanks, Leslie

Willow Bark Tincture

2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Daudy (Hamburg, Germany) on 08/15/2013

Hello, I am a german woman and I work with a translator on this side. This is the best site I ever seen. In this moment I have a tennis elbow. My best help is a tincture I made myself. It's Willow bark in alkohol, 5 weeks in the sun and then you can drink a little about it. After drink my pain in the arm is gone for a long while (Sorry, I don't know, where I can write this in this side). Many greetings from germany, Daudy

Replied by Ulli

Thanks Daudy for the tip. I had some willow bark tincture in the cupboard which I had never used and followed instructions. I took 15 drops before bed and today my pain is almost gone. will persevere for a couple more days. Nochmals vielen Dank :)

Replied by Michael

Hello all,

I injured my both elbows when lifting weights few months ago. I went to different doctors they suggested either wearing a elbow or fore arm brace which does not help and also getting a cortisone shot in the both elbow which I don not want to do that.

It has been few months the pain still bothers me and I am in pain. and really need to know what is the best cure without and side effects.

Please give detailed instruction in what to use and how to use it. For example, 15 drops of tincture diluted in a glass of water or just the 15 drops of pure Tincture. How often? and any other suggestion that is safe.

And can the exercising with weights should be avoided for how long?

Thanks, Michael