Tennis Elbow Physical Therapy
So you’ve got tennis elbow previously and want to avoid it happening again. Or you have a job where you’re more likely to get it — instance, as a painter or carpenter — and you want to avoid it in the first place.
The recollection of bulging tendons generating agony from your elbow to your wrist, or even the mere concept of it, can be quite motivating. There’s a lot you can do to keep your elbows happy and healthy, it turns out.
Tennis elbow can be prevented with exercises that stretch and strengthen your wrist and forearm muscles. There’s also a lot you can do during the day to relieve arm pain.
General advice: Avoid repeating the same hand and arm movements. If that isn’t an option, wear a brace and take as many breaks as you can. Other suggestions:
To relieve the strain on your elbow, learn to use your shoulder and upper arm muscles.
Avoid completely bending or straightening your arm by staying in the middle of your range of motion.
Before engaging in sports or other activities that need you to repeat the same motions with your arm, warm up and stretch.
At the workplace: Working with a bent wrist is not a good idea. If at all possible, keep it straight. Here are a few more suggestions:
Smooth movements are preferable to jerky, sharp ones.
To lessen strain, talk to your boss about alternating jobs, doing various chores, or modifying your desk setting.
Using resources: Choose tools with a larger grip. You can aid yourself by wearing gloves or adding cushioning. You should also consider:
Hold tools with a looser grasp; if possible, relieve some of the tension in your hand.
If you’re going to use a hammer, make sure it’s one with cushioning to help absorb the impact.
On the court, check to see if your racquet is the proper fit for you. Lighter weight, larger grips, and softer strings may help to alleviate tendons strain. Also:
Request assistance from a coach with your form. Injury can be avoided with proper technique.
Use a two-handed backhand instead of a single-handed backhand.
Use your entire lower body, not just your arm, to generate power in your stroke.
Tennis Elbow Workouts
You can stretch and develop your arm muscles using a variety of workouts. For more information and advice, consult your doctor or a physical therapist. To get you started, here are a few examples:
Stretch your fingers:
Put a rubber band around your entire hand, including your thumb, and touch your fingers to your thumb.
Slowly open and close your thumb and fingers all the way.
Repeat this process up to 25 times.
This stretch can be done up to three times each day. If it becomes too simple, try using two rubber bands.
Stretching the wrist flexors:
Keep your arm straight out in front of you with your elbow not bent and your palm facing up.
Hold the fingers of your outstretched hand in your other hand and bend it back toward your body until you can feel it in your inner forearm.
15 seconds of holding
Rep three to five times more.
Repeat this process two to three times per day. Hold it for up to 30 seconds and increase the number of repetitions to five to ten instead of three to five.
Strengthening of the wrist flexors and extensors:
Take a seat with a 1-pound dumbbell — or a can of beans.
Support your forearm on your thigh or the table’s edge, allowing your wrist to hang over the side.
With your palm facing up, hold the weight in your hand.
Raise and drop your hand slowly, keeping your arm on your thigh while your hand bends up and down at the wrist.
Count to ten.