Orthopedists call it “lateral epicondylitis” but everyone refers to it as “tennis elbow”. Just like what the name says, it is something that commonly bugs tennis players as well as those who engage in sports that call for the use of racquets. However, you can have tennis elbow even if you’re not into playing tennis.
Put simply, tennis elbow is a painful condition that is due to a strain to the tendons situated in your elbow, and they are the ones connect the muscles of your forearms together. The root cause of the problem is overuse, which means that repeated motions can give rise to it.
There are many different treatments available for tennis elbow. Some of them include rest, ice and intake of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs. The use of a brace immobilizes the elbow, thus allowing it to bounce back much faster. Steroid injections and physical therapy are other modes of treatment around.
If the problem fails to respond to the above conservative approaches, sometimes undergoing the knife is the solution for tennis elbow. This is especially true if no improvement is seen after 6 to 12 months. Usually, surgery involves having the affected tendon and/or muscle fixed.
Before starting to panic, it’s a good idea for you to first try certain exercises if you have tennis elbow. Carrying them out can help deal with very mild cases of tennis elbow, and even keep it from striking too often. If the level of pain you are experiencing allows you to perform any of the following, do so:
This exercise for tennis elbow may be performed while you are standing up or sitting down. Here are the steps:
-Stretch the arm with the affected elbow straight in front of you, with your palm facing the floor.
-Slowly, bend your wrist in an attempt to point all of your fingers towards the floor.
-Rotate your forearms inwards in order to intensify the stretch that can be felt in the elbow.
-Hold the position for about 15 to 20 seconds. Go back to the starting position.
-Try repeating all of these steps 5 times.
You need a 2-pound dumbbell or anything that has the same weight and can be easily gripped. These are the steps:
-Sit down and allow the affected elbow to rest on your knee.
-While grasping the dumbbell or any other object, rotate your forearm to turn your palm towards the ceiling.
-Try to keep your upper arm and elbow still, allowing your forearm to do all the work.
-Go back to the starting position.
-Carry out everything 15 to 20 times.
Doing this exercise requires you to grab a hand or kitchen towel. In order to get started, do the following:
-While sitting down or standing up, grab the hand or kitchen towel with both hands.
-Take your arms to about chest level, your elbows slightly bent.
-Twist the ends of the towel towards the opposite directions, as though you are wringing out excess water.
-Twist the ends of the towel towards the other direction.
-Repeat everything for a total of 20 times.
For this exercise, you need to get your hands on a rubber band. The following are the steps to take.
-Place the rubber band on the tips of your fingers, holding them together.
-Stretch your arm in front of you, with your fingers pointed towards the ceiling.
-Carefully, move your fingers away from one another, causing the rubber band to get stretched.
-Maintain such position for about a couple of seconds. Relax your fingers afterwards.
-Repeat everything 10 to 20 times.
CAUTION: It’s a good idea to let an orthopedist know about your plan on doing any exercise or home remedy for tennis elbow in order to prevent complications.