Tennis Elbow Exercises

Physiotherapist examining his patients arm
A physiotherapist is working with a patient's elbow. (Image: Wavebreakmedia/iStock/Getty Images)

If you think only tennis players get tennis elbow, think again. Painters, carpenters and plumbers can also develop this painful condition. Tennis elbow is an overuse injury caused by activities that put repetitive stress on forearm muscles. When this happens, small tears develop in the tendons, which lead to inflammation and soreness. Treatment involves stretching and strengthening exercises.

Daily Stretches

Exercises such as wrist flexor and extensor stretches improve the flexibility of the muscles and tendons in your forearms and help prevent joint stiffness and tendon shortening. Extend your arm and bend your wrist backward as if to communicate "stop." With your other hand, pull your fingers back until you feel a stretch in the muscles underneath your forearm. Now, extend your wrist and point your fingers toward the floor. Pull your fingers back with your opposite hand until you feel the stretch on the top of your forearm. Hold each stretch for 20 seconds and repeat each five times.

Weekly Strengthening

Once the pain has eased, perform exercises such as wrist curls and reverse curls three times each week to help build muscular strength and endurance. Sit, hold a 1-pound hand weight and rest your forearm on your thigh with your palm facing up and your wrist at the edge of your knee. Curl the weight up toward your body as far as you can, slowly reverse and repeat 10 times. Turn your arm over so your palm is facing down. Pull your hand back toward your body as far as you can. Reverse your movement and repeat 10 times.

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