Tennis elbow sounds like an athlete’s injury, and you can certainly get the condition by smacking the ball around the court. But other people can develop tennis elbow, too. If you’re diagnosed with the problem, you may be able to address it by doing exercises for the tendonitis in your elbow.
What Is Tennis Elbow?
Tennis elbow is a swelling of the tendons, also called tendonitis. The damage is caused by a repetitive motion, prompting pain in the arm — especially in the elbow. The overuse injury stems from making the same movement again and again, such as a tennis swing. Causes may include:
- Sports, such as racquetball, squash or weightlifting.
- Yardwork, such as shoveling or raking.
- Occupational work, such as carpentry or typing.
- Hobbies, such as knitting.
The symptoms of tennis elbow often flare up when you try to lift something or straighten your wrist. Even shaking hands or making a fist may cause pain.
What Exercises Can I Do to Fix Tennis Elbow?
Before attempting any exercises, treat tennis elbow with a course of anti-inflammatories and icing to bring down the inflammation. Once the inflammation has subsided, you can try some exercises to decrease your pain.
1. Fist Clench
You can strengthen your grip by building up your forearm muscles. You’ll need a towel and a table for this exercise, which works your hand’s long flexor tendons. Perform the exercise by:
- Place your forearm on the table. Put the rolled-up towel on your hand.
- Squeeze the towel for 10 seconds. Do it nine more times.
- Switch arms and perform 10 more reps.
2. Wrist Flexion
The wrist extensors can become inflamed by overuse, sparking pain. Working them with a small weight can strengthen the muscles. You’ll need a 2-pound dumbbell for this exercise:
- Rest your elbow on your knee with your palm facing up. Place the dumbbell in the palm of your hand.
- Flex your wrist by curling it toward your face. Don’t move the rest of your arm as you flex.
- Do this 10 times, then repeat on the other side.
You can also perform a wrist extension. This exercise is basically the same, but your palm faces the floor, and you raise your hand up.
The supinator muscle attaches to your elbow in your forearm and can be a cause of tennis elbow. You need a 2-pound dumbbell for this exercise:
- Sitting in a chair, hold a 2-pound dumbbell from the top, so most of the dumbbell hangs down. Put your elbow on your knee. The weight should point toward the floor.
- Rotate the dumbbell toward the ceiling. At the end of the movement, your palm should face the ceiling.
- Rotate the dumbbell back to starting.
- Concentrate on keeping your elbow and upper arm motionless as you complete the move.
Seek Treatment for Tennis Elbow if You Need It
Now that you know what exercises help tennis elbow, you can try them and see if your symptoms improve or disappear entirely. If you don’t see any improvement, you may need to seek other solutions. Contact us or book an appointment to discuss your options.