If you’ve been diagnosed with tennis elbow, you’re probably aware of the pain and inflammation associated with this condition. Lateral epicondylitis, another name for tennis elbow, is a repetitive stress injury that typically occurs in athletes who overwork the tendons and muscles outside the elbow. However, tennis elbow injuries can also be caused by everyday activities or jobs that require repetitive arm motions.
Many of our patients wonder when they can go back to exercising after experiencing a tennis elbow injury. A good rule of thumb is to avoid exercises that cause pain to your arm. However, a few stretches and exercises can be beneficial in rehabilitating your muscles and tendons. Some can even help treat tennis elbow pain.
If you’re worried that the activities you’re performing could exacerbate your injury, pay attention to the top exercises you should avoid if you have tennis elbow.
Wait for Your Doctor’s Go-Ahead
Before jumping into any kind of exercise regimen after you’ve experienced a tennis elbow injury, you should always talk to your doctor. Strenuous activities of any kind may agitate the affected area, so be sure to get the okay from your physician before moving forward.
Your doctor will want to ensure that the pain and inflammation in your elbow have adequately decreased. Rest is one of the most effective treatments for tennis elbow, so you may have to avoid exercise for a short time as you heal.
Exercises That Can Agitate Tennis Elbow Injuries
Any activity that causes shooting or sharp pain in your arm or elbow should be avoided altogether. However, before hitting the gym, you may want to take these exercises or workouts out of your regular routine:
- Chin-ups, pushups and bench presses: All of these movements put a strain on your elbow’s flexors, which can lead to further irritation of the lateral tendons of your elbow.
- Wrist exercises: It’s best to avoid any wrist exercises, especially forearm dumbbell curls or barbell extensions. These moves can cause added stress to your elbow and forearm, potentially worsening your tennis elbow injury and causing chronic pain.
- Straight-arm exercises: Any exercise that requires you to keep your arms straight and your elbows fully extended can put excessive strain on your wrist extensor muscles.
- Repetitive lifting or motions: Exercises that rely on repetitive lifting or repetitive motions of your elbow and wrist can agitate your injury. When you’re working out in this condition, do as few repetitions as possible.
Other Sports and Activities to Avoid
Tennis elbow acquired its name because the injury is quite common among racquet players. However, other athletes — such as swimmers and golfers, among others — also risk spraining the lateral aspect of their elbow muscles. If you develop lateral epicondylitis, avoid all these sports for the time being.
It’s not just exercises and sports that can agitate your tennis elbow symptoms and prolong the recovery process. A number of activities rely on repetitive arm motions and should be avoided, as they can cause setbacks for tendon healing, such as:
- Slicing and preparing food
- Using a screwdriver
- Excessively using the computer
Visit OrthoBethesda for Elbow Treatment
If you’re experiencing pain that radiates from the outside of your elbow and down to your forearm and wrist, you could have tennis elbow. This injury not only causes discomfort, but it can also be associated with weakness while performing activities like turning a doorknob and holding a mug of coffee. OrthoBethesda is here to provide premium elbow treatment to patients who encounter any of these symptoms.
Those living in Bethesda, MD, and the surrounding area are invited to give us a call at (301) 530-1010 or contact us online today. Our orthopedic specialists would be pleased to meet with you to work out a treatment plan that helps target your specific symptoms.