Tennis elbow is a common and painful condition caused by swelling of the tendons that connect the muscles in the lower arm to the bone. Although tennis elbow pain usually occurs at the point where the tendons of the forearm muscles attach to that bony bump on the outer part of the elbow, pain may also spread to the upper arm, lower arm, or hands.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the most common causes of tennis elbow and effective tennis elbow exercises that you can do in the comfort of your home.

Common Causes of Tennis Elbow

Despite the name, you don’t have to play tennis, or any other racquet sport, to suffer tennis elbow pain. It can be the result of any repetitive or strenuous gripping activity that puts strain on the forearm or wrist. Weightlifters, swimmers, golfers, basketball players, rock climbers, and anyone who takes part in a sport that uses a lot of arm action is also at risk.

Those who have jobs or hobbies that use excessive arm movements such as carpentry, typing, gardening, knitting, and painting can also be susceptible to tennis elbow pain. Essentially if you’re doing anything that involves frequently twisting your wrists, using your forearm muscles, or bending your elbows, you might be a candidate for tennis elbow treatment.

Fist Clench

Poor grip strength is one of the most common signs of tennis elbow. Building the muscles of the forearm by working the long flexor tendons in the thumb and fingers can improve your grip strength and reduce tennis elbow pain so you can do your daily activities.

You’ll need a table and towel or a small ball to do the Fist Clench exercise.

1.    Sit with your forearm resting on the table in front of you.
2.    Hold either the rolled-up towel or small ball in your hand.
3.    Squeeze and hold for 10 seconds.
4.    Release, and then repeat 10 times.
5.    Switch to the other arm and repeat the exercise.

Wrist Extension

Wrist extensors are the small group of muscles that allow you to bend your wrist. They connect into your elbow and are prone to overuse, particularly if you play racquet sports.

You’ll need a two-pound dumbbell to exercise the wrist extensors. You can also do this exercise without the weight if it’s too difficult or painful.

1.    Sit in a chair while holding a two-pound dumbbell with your palm facing down.
2.    Rest your elbow on your knee or the edge of a table, hanging your wrist off the end.
3.    Extend your wrist and curl it toward your body lifting the weight as high as you can.
4.    Isolate your wrist by keeping the rest of the arm still.
5.    Return to the starting position.
6.    Repeat 10 times on each side.

Towel Twist

This exercise works both the wrist extensors and wrist flexors, groups of muscles that connect into the elbow and are often susceptible to overuse, causing inflammation and pain.

A towel is all you need to do the Towel Twist exercise.

1.    Sit in a chair with your shoulders relaxed.
2.    Hold a loosely rolled-up towel with hands about shoulder width apart.
3.    Twist the towel in opposite directions as if you’re wringing out water.
4.    Repeat 10 times in one direction, then 10 times in the other direction.

Book an Appointment!

If you’re experiencing tennis elbow pain, there are a number of treatment options available. Massage therapy can reduce tension and increase circulation to the tendons to alleviate pain and improve flexibility.

Physiotherapy can help you find ways to change the activities you’re doing that cause you pain and improve the strength and flexibility of your forearm muscles.

Chiropractic care can treat the root cause of your tennis elbow pain. You might be surprised that a chiropractor performing a spinal manipulation can eliminate symptoms of pain and tenderness.

For more information on tennis elbow treatments, call (905) 997-BODY (2639) or book an appointment online.

Mathew  Hughes

Mathew Hughes

Physiotherapist

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