The best pain relief for tennis elbow is subjective and depends on the patient's condition, but could include ice packs, rest, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and potential elbow splints, writes WebMD. Surgery is sometimes a rare last resort, notes Harvard University. The condition is not a direct result of playing tennis; instead, it is usually a result of forcing the forearm muscles into different positions by rotating or twisting.
This movement is typically performed when a person is playing the violin or pulling weeds, similar to the motion of wielding a tennis racket. The problem with tennis elbow is that the constant stress on the muscles from this movement creates a series of tiny tears, which the body eventually turns into scar tissue, states Harvard University. This scar tissue never fully heals, however, because of similar movements the person performs in his or her day-to-day life.
One of the best treatments for tennis elbow is simply to allow the elbow to rest for a significant period of time. If the pain persists for more than a few weeks or becomes severe, it is recommended that the person visit the doctor to see if surgery might be necessary. At the very least, prescription pain medication may be necessary, which should help with the pain, reports Harvard University.