Tennis elbow is a condition or stress injury caused by overuse of the forearm and wrist. The symptoms include swelling and pain at lateral side of the elbow. Tennis elbow is also known as lateral epicondylitis.
There is tenderness at lateral side of elbow near extensor tendon insertion. It commonly affects golfers, tennis player, racquet players, bowlers, carpenters, housekeepers, gardeners, industrial workers, and other occupations that demands repeated activities of forearm and hands.
How Can Exercise Help Tennis Elbow or Lateral Epicondylitis?
The prognosis of tennis elbow depends on early measures, which include rest and exercises. Rest and application of ice helps to treat this condition and physical therapy exercises prevent a recurrence of the tennis elbow.
Tennis elbow exercises regain the muscle strength and flexibility of wrist and forearm and also maintain proper blood circulation as well as helps with healing. There should be a gradual increase in the intensity of exercises, but avoid if you have pain. Tennis elbow exercises consist of stretching and strengthening exercises at elbow, wrist and forearm.
Exercises For Tennis Elbow or Lateral Epicondylitis
Exercise #1: Stretching of Wrist Flexor and Extensor Muscles for Tennis Elbow:
Stretch your muscles and tendons of arm before you strengthen the muscle. First lift your arm straight in front of you until your palm faces the floor. Then, on the top of the outstretched hand put your other hand and push your outstretched hand down, bending at the wrist so that the palm faces you, and hold for 15 to 20 seconds. During this exercise you should feel a slight pull within your muscles along the top of the forearm. Release your grip after the allotted time.
Rotate your stretched out arm so that it faces the ceiling. Place your other hand in the palm of your outstretched hand and push down, bending at the wrist so that the palm faces away from you. When you gently push the hand you should feel a slight pull within your forearm muscles. After 15-20 seconds, release your grip.
Exercise # 2: Ball Squeezing, Forearm and Wrist Strengthening for Tennis Elbow:
Ball squeezing exercise builds up power and durability of the muscle to further withstand weight exercises. Grip a soft squeeze ball in your hand for a few seconds and release it. Repeat this 15 times twice a day.
Exercise #3: Palm-Up Wrist Curl for Tennis Elbow
Rest your forearm on a table with facing your palm to ceiling. Hold a soda can or soup can or a light dumbbell in your hand. Lift the can or the dumbbell using only your wrist while leaving your forearm on the table and hold this position for 3 to 4 seconds. Then bring down your hand onto the table. Repeat this exercise for 10-15 times.
Exercise # 4: Palm-Down Wrist Curl for Tennis Elbow
Rest your forearm and wrist on the table with your palm facing downwards to the floor. Hold the soda or a soup can or a light dumbbell in your hand and flex the wrists and then lower it down. Repeat this for 10 to 15 times.
Tennis Elbow Exercise # 5:
Rotate your forearm so that your thumb pointed to the ceiling. Maintain your forearm contact with the table and lift up the can, bending at the wrist. Before lowering the can hold this position for 3 to 4 seconds.
Tennis Elbow Exercise# 6:
Exercise pronation and supination of the arm with appropriate weights or dumbbells.
Increase the weight gradually in all the above weight exercises as the movements become easier without increasing the frequency of exercise.
Watch 3D Video of Tennis Elbow Stretching and Strengthening Exercises:
Electrotherapy Does Provide Tennis Elbow Pain Relief
Electrotherapy is used to treat tennis elbow by physiotherapists to provide pain relief and promote healing. This treatment involves treating pain using electric currents which passed through the tissues to stimulate muscle function. Some of the form of the electrotherapy for tennis elbow are TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation), ultrasound, and interferential therapy. TENS unit produced low electric current to the skin and prevent pain messages from being transmitted to the brain.