Due to hurricane damage, the Havelock location is closed until further notice. Havelock therapists Hannah Zhang, Sarah Hall and Judy Hickes are available to see patients at the New Bern location. Please call the New Bern location at (252) 636-9800 to discuss your care.

How to sleep better with tennis elbow

How to Sleep With Tennis Elbow

You know you have tennis elbow, but you’re counting on a good night’s sleep to jump-start your healing. However, you keep waking up throughout the night or in the morning with more pain than you went to bed with. Such experiences may leave you wondering how to sleep better with tennis elbow. 

Unfortunately, there’s no silver bullet for how to sleep better with tennis elbow. The reason? Each person experiences tennis elbow slightly differently. However, there are several tips that physical therapists can offer that may help make it easier for tennis elbow sufferers to sleep. Also, they can help you find effective ways to treat tennis elbow so you’re less likely to feel pain while sleeping. 

Three tips for how to sleep better with tennis elbow: 

  1. Stretch out your elbow before bed — Physical therapists often use therapeutic exercises to help reduce tennis elbow pain. They may even create a program of exercises for you to do at home. One time that you may want to do these exercises is right before bed. The reasons for this are simple: Doing your elbow exercises can help stretch affected soft tissue and increase blood flow. Accomplishing these two things can help delay or even stop the onset of elbow stiffness and pain while you’re asleep. 
  1. Apply heat to your elbow before going to bed — Your physical therapist knows that applying heat to your elbow at the right time may help reduce your pain. Applying heat to soft tissue can help open up blood vessels in the targeted area, which may improve blood flow. Right before bed can be a good time to apply heat to your elbow. Doing so can help keep your elbow supple and less painful as you sleep. Some ways you can apply heat to your elbow include: 
  • Taking a hot shower before going to bed. 
  • Wearing a compression bandage or sleeve to trap in body heat. 
  • Covering your elbow with a heating pad (just make sure to turn it off before you go to sleep). 
  1. Find the least painful sleeping position — There is lots of advice on the internet about which sleeping position is best for tennis elbow sufferers. The bottom line is that almost any sleeping position can work. You just need to make sure that you’re not putting too much stress on your injured elbow. One way to do this is to sleep on your back and prop your elbow up on a pillow. However, your physical therapist can help you find other ways to sleep that reduce pressure on your healing elbow. 

Peak Performance can help you learn how to sleep better with tennis elbow

Want to talk to someone about how to sleep better with tennis elbow? Our Peak Performance Sports and Physical Therapy team members are here for you. We can discuss your sleeping difficulties and other symptoms during a free screening. Furthermore, our physical therapists can construct a treatment plan that’s designed to fit your unique symptoms and recovery needs. Even better, we offer virtual physical therapy sessions that allow you to treat your tennis elbow from home. 

Contact us today for more information about how we can treat your tennis elbow or to schedule your initial in-person or virtual PT appointment.