How to exercise with tennis elbow?
Tennis elbow is a common condition that affects people who engage in repetitive arm movement or have sustained an injury. It’s quite ironic; you want to stay fit and healthy by exercising, but your workout routine is limited because of tennis elbow. As frustrating as it might be, there are exercises you can do that are safe for those with this condition.
Understanding Tennis Elbow
Before delving into the exercises, let’s take a moment to understand what tennis elbow actually is. Formally known as lateral epicondylitis, it refers to the pain and inflammation felt on the outer side of the elbow.
What Causes Tennis Elbow?
Tennis elbow occurs when there is damage or strain in the muscles and tendons responsible for extending your wrist and fingers. To put it simply, any activity involving gripping, lifting weights or even typing on a keyboard repeatedly over time can cause tiny tears in these tissues leading to pain and discomfort.
Exercises You Can Safely Do
- Wrist Curls: Hold a dumbbell while sitting with forearm resting comfortably on bench /table edge; move up/down slowly (12 reps).
- Reverse Wrist Curls: Same position but lift back of hand toward sky & lower slowly back towards ground (12 reps).
- Finger Extensions: Use rubber band around finger tips; stretch out against resistance for 10 seconds & relax.
- Grip Strengthening Squeeze Balls Exercise: Keep one ball in each hand then squeeze them tightly together until contracting all pressing points becomes difficult.
- Pronation-Supination Stretching Exercises: Turn palm upward-to-downward alternately laps using full range of motion without causing pain until fatigue sets in each lap cycle.
These exercises help strengthen your wrists and forearms which play significant roles during activities that cause tennis elbows such as golf, racquet sports, or gardening. Start with one set of ten repetitions and gradually work up to three sets of twelve repetitions.
Things You Should Avoid
While some exercises help reduce the pain and discomfort caused by tennis elbow, engaging in activities that can worsen it could slow down your recovery process. Here are a few things you should avoid doing:
- Avoid Heavy Objects: Don’t lift heavy objects that place too much tension on your forearm tendons.
- Avoid Staying In One Position For Too Long: Ensure you take a break from any activity that requires repetitive arm movement even if temporarily uncomfortable at first.
- Don’t Apply Direct Pressure On Your Elbow: This will cause more damage to an already damaged elbow for example massaging aggressively or using heat during the early stages when there is still inflammation.
Tips To Manage Tennis Elbow Pain
Tennis Elbow can be quite painful and often gets worse over time when left untreated. The following tips may help alleviate pain and ensure speedy recovery:
Tip #1 – Use Ice
Apply ice or cold packs directly onto sore areas as soon as they arise ‘no pun intended’. Using ice helps regulate blood flow which reduces swelling in affected tendons thus reducing overall pain levels.
Tip #2 – Rest Regularly
Rest is vital when dealing with tennis elbow since it provides relief for damaged tissues allowing them enough time to heal properly while preventing further injury /or stress through overuse.
Tip #3 – Keep A Healthy Posture
Keep your elbows bent ensuring they are not below wrist level ‘you don’t want to look like Quasimodo’ allowing blood vessels ample space without constricting veins which increases risk factors associated with developing tennis elbow (and other injuries).
Tip #4 – Seek Medical Assistance When Necessary
If symptoms persist despite efforts geared towards home remedies then seek professional medical advice/attention; they may prescribe medication or the appropriate physical therapy treatment plan.
Lifestyle Habits To Avoid
Tennis elbow hurts, and so it’s good to understand some of the activities and habits that can intensify pain symptoms. Outlined below are a few daily lifestyle habits you should avoid having if experiencing tennis elbow:
Habit #1: A Weak Grip
People with weak grips tend to put extra strain on wrist muscles which leads them towards developing resistance against tenniselbow.
Habit #2: Typing Indefinitely
Typing for extended periods without taking breaks is an unhealthy habit that is likely to worsen tennis elbow symptoms.
Habit #3: Poor Strokes In Racquet Sports
Poor hand-arm coordination skills in racquet sports could also be contributors leading toward significant injuries such as tennis elbow discomforts.
You don’t have to give up your love for golf, gardening or even playing through a game of doubles! Try these exercises safely if suffering from tennis elbow or consult your physiotherapist for advice on alternative exercises. With enough rest and exercise routine habits that counteract those listed above; you’ll soon return to everyday active life sooner than later!