Tennis elbow is caused by straining of the forearm’s tendons. It’s an injury caused by continuous activity and often leads to inflammation. Treating tennis elbow starts with reducing inflammation.
Compression and ice can be used to address the pain and inflammation. Once you reduce the inflammation, the most effective way to strengthen the forearm’s muscles and prevent recurrence is through stretches and exercises for tennis elbow.
Here are some exercises that will jump-start your journey to recovery and help in building back the strength in your elbow. These guidelines are for knowledge purposes and The Preserve at Ironhorse recommends that you check with your doctor to determine whether these exercises are good for you.
Wrist Extensor Stretch
Place your arm in front and point the hand down. Pull the hand towards your body until you feel a stretch at the back of your forearm, elbow, and wrist. To increase the stretch, rotate the forearm inwards. You should hold the stretch for about 20 seconds and repeat the exercise up to 5 times.
Partner Tennis Elbow Stretches
This exercise is easily carried out with the help of a partner. Put the arm out to the side and rotate inwards. This stretch should be held for 30 seconds and repeated about 5 times. Performing this exercise thrice a day will see your condition improve speedily.
Neural stretch in conjunction with sports massage help to relieve tension in the neck which contributes to elbow pain. Neural stretches should be done in a comfortable position and held for a maximum of five seconds. The duration of the stretch can be progressed gradually to 10 seconds. If you experience any pain in the arm, stop immediately.
Isometric Wrist Extension
Contracting of muscles isometrically is done with the help of a partner to resist your movement. You can also use your fit hand or an object to resist movement. Place the arm with the palm and forehand facing down and once it’s supported, try to extend the wrist by lifting it as if you are trying to point your fingers upwards. Repeat this up to 15 times while ensuring that the wrist joint doesn’t move.
Bring your fingertips together and place a rubber band over them. Try to move the fingers apart against the rubber band’s resistance. Repeat this about 15 times.
Dynamic Wrist Extension
It is one of the most common elbow exercises. After completing the other exercises without pain, you can move on to dynamic exercises. It’s advisable to start dynamic exercises on the fifth day or later. They are performed using a light weight of about 2 pounds. Simply move your wrist from flexion to extension. You can start with one set of 10 repetitions then progress up to 3 sets of 25 repetitions.
Dynamic exercises can also be performed with a resistance band. With your forearm resting on the knee, place one of the band’s ends under your foot and wrap the other end around your hand. Start with the wrist pointing down and extend the wrist while your forearm remains still. Return to the start position slowly and repeat the exercise 10-15 times.
Never rush when you are performing elbow exercises. If you experience pain or discomfort take a step back. If the pain persists, consult with a doctor for an evaluation to rule out serious injuries like muscle tear. Changing the way you perform your daily exercises can help reduce symptoms. Keep exercising even after recovering from tennis elbow to strengthen your elbow and forearm.