Hey there! Are you feeling a sharp pain in your elbow when you're gripping something? Do you experience discomfort when you're shaking someone's hand? If yes, then you might be experiencing tennis elbow.
Tennis elbow is a common repetitive strain condition that affects people who engage in repetitive arm movements such as playing tennis, gardening, typing, or painting. The condition is caused by the inflammation of the tendons that connect the forearm muscles to the outer part of the elbow.
If left untreated, tennis elbow can cause chronic pain, reduced strength in your grip and limit your ability to perform everyday tasks, ie lift a kettle. Fortunately, there are many ways to relieve the symptoms of tennis elbow.
Here are a few top tips for relief:
Rest and ice
Resting your arm and applying ice to the affected area can help reduce pain and swelling. Try to avoid activities that put strain on your elbow and take frequent breaks if you need to use your arm for prolonged periods.
Gentle stretching exercises can help alleviate stiffness and pain in your elbow. Try to do some simple exercises such as wrist extensions and flexions to help stretch the muscles and tendons in your forearm.
Getting It Treated
Hands on manipulation and treatment of the affected tissues is an effective way to treat tennis elbow. A tailored treatment using clinical massage, myofascial release, trigger point therapy and stretching can help, along with an exercise program for your specific needs can help ease the pain and stop further injury.
A brace or splint can help support your arm and reduce strain on the tendons in your elbow. This can be particularly helpful if you need to use your arm for work or other activities.
In addition to the tips mentioned above, there are a few things you can do to prevent tennis elbow from occurring in the first place. Here are a few top tips for prevention:
Use proper form and technique
Whether you're playing tennis, typing, or gardening, using proper form and technique can help prevent injury. Make sure you're using the correct grip and stance. Take frequent breaks if you need to use your arm for prolonged periods, remember this is a repetitive strain injury and so giving yourself a break as often as you can may help.
Strengthen your muscles
Strengthening the muscles in your forearm and wrist can help prevent tennis elbow. Try incorporating exercises such as wrist curls and reverse wrist curls into your workout routine.
Warm up and cool down
Lets be honest, we are not great at this are we? When asked the question "do you stretch after exercise?" the answer is usually no, or "sometimes" (which means no).
Before engaging in any activity that puts strain on your arm, be sure to warm up with some mobility exercises for the joints - wrists, elbows and shoulders. Clasp your hands together and rotate them in a circle in both directions. Unclasped point your fingers to the ground and then to the sky. You can also lift the arms to shoulder height and circle the arms around from the elbows and do some shoulder rotations drawing the ears up the shoulders rolling them backwards as if taking your shoulders blades down your back. It will only take a couple of minutes and your body will thank you for it.
Afterward, take the time to cool down and stretch again to help prevent injury.
In conclusion, tennis elbow can be a painful and debilitating condition, but with the right treatment and prevention strategies, you can reduce your risk of injury and get back to your normal activities. If you're experiencing symptoms of tennis elbow and having incorporated the tips mentioned above your symptoms continue then get in touch to explore other options.