5 Easy Stretches to Ease and Prevent Tennis Elbow
Those of you who’ve suffered from tennis elbow know how debilitating this condition can be. Also referred to as lateral epicondylitis, this painful disorder can creep up when you least expect it. Despite its name, tennis elbow doesn’t only affect tennis players. People with jobs that call for repetitive movements (i.e. painters, chefs, plumbers, and carpenters) are more likely to suffer from this ailment.
We can help you relieve pain (and possibly prevent) tennis elbow. Hint: stretching is your key to success!
What is lateral epicondylitis?
Before we help you treat that nagging tennis elbow, it’s important to understand what this condition is. An extremely painful disorder, tennis elbow is caused when the tendons in your elbow become overworked or overloaded. Repeated movements of the wrist and arm are the most common triggers.
The pain caused by this condition is felt on the outside of the elbow (near that bony bit that juts out). If your elbow responds with screaming pain when you try to turn a doorknob, twist the lid off a soda bottle, or grip a mug of tea, you’re likely suffering from lateral epicondylitis.
Tennis elbow treatments
Give yourself a break. Or in this case, your forearm, wrist, and elbow. Try to cut back on using the affected arm and add over-the-counter pain relievers to help dull the ache. Even better, start stretching.
Research published in the journal Sports Health found that coupling strengthening with stretching can reduce pain and restore function to the elbow.
Five Stretches to Cut Pain and Help Heal Tennis Elbow
We have five easy stretches to reduce pain and improve your overall symptoms. You can watch examples of these stretches via our YouTube Channel, or follow these instructions:
- Wrist and forearm extensor stretch
Hold your arm straight in front of you, with your palm facing down. Take hold of the outstretched hand with your other hand and carefully bend it down towards the floor. Hold for 20 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
- Wrist and forearm extensor twist
Hold your arm straight in front of you, with your palm facing down. Take hold of the outstretched hand with your other hand and carefully bend it down towards the floor. Next use your hand to turn the affected hand slowly to the outside and hold for 20 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
- Wrist extensor flex
Hold your arm straight in front of you, with your palm facing down. Carefully bend your wrist up. Take hold of your hand with the other hand and gently pull your fingers back. Hold for 20 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
- Ball Squeeze
Take hold of a stress ball. If you don’t have one, a rolled-up face towel or tennis ball do. Squeeze it between your fingers for 10 seconds and repeat 3 times.
- Rubber Band Finger Stretch
Place a rubber band around your fingers (touch them to your thumb so it fits easily). Slowly separate them, stretching against the band, before closing them to touch your thumb to your fingers again. Repeat 10 times.