You don’t have to be a professional tennis player or even a tennis player to develop Tennis Elbow. The fact is that anyone can develop Tennis Elbow also known as Lateral Epicondylitis through repetitive strain injury. You don’t have to load up your joint with heavy weights at the gym or have a world class back hand in tennis, for tendentious to develop in this tender area.
How Does Tennis Elbow Feel?
Once the symptoms of Tennis Elbow have started the affected person will experience burning pain in their Lateral Epicondylitis tendon. This is a tendon that connects to the bone on the top side of the elbow near the elbow joint. Symptoms include tenderness in the elbow joint and the surrounding area that can feel like a burning or stinging sensation. The condition will be irritated by many day to day functions such as typing, painting, cooking, lifting weights, sports, carrying groceries and something as simple as gripping the lid of a jar.
Once Tennis Elbow has set in to the Epicondylitis tendon the pain associated with the inflammation of the tendons will not go away or heal on its own. Every time the patient irritates the tendon it will create more inflammation and more pain. At this point the only way to stop the tendonitis is to avoid irritation of the elbow tendons by avoiding any strenuous use of that joint.
Don’t lose all hope that you are going to suffer with this pain forever! Tennis Elbow can be treated with basic rehab at home. The rehab will consist of stretching exercises to lengthen the Epicondylitis tendon and forearm and wrist exercises that will strengthen supporting muscles in your forearm and wrist which will help reduced stress on the actual joint and tendons.
The Rehab Processs
The first step of the rehab process is to rest the elbow. Stop using the affected arm to lift weights, play sports or any other activity that irritates the tendentious. Next start to ice your elbow for 20 minutes at a time 3 to 5 times a day. At the same time the use of anti-inflammatory drugs such as Advil or Aleve can greatly help the pain and reduce inflammation within the joint and tendons.
Once the initial icing and anti-inflammatory drugs have had time to reduce the swelling of your tennis elbow usually a week to 10 days it’s time to start stretching the muscles and tendons of your lower arm up to the elbow.
Begin stretching by straightening the arm fully in front of your torso with the palm of your hand facing down. With your free arm grab the fingers of the affected hand and slowly raise them upward while holding your arm straight. You will feel gentle stretching in your wrist and forearm. Do this exercise 10 times for a count of five each time. Now reverse your hand position by pointing your palm upward and turning your hand up towards your torso. Do this movement 10 times for a count of 5 each time.
Don’t Rush Your Stretching and Strengthening routine
Once you have stretched your wrist flexors it’s time to do some very light weight strengthening. Using a 2 to 5-pound dumbbell or a substitute such as a house hold object as the weight gently grip the object with your affected arm. Slowly extend your wrist first upwards as far as you can comfortably lift. Hold this position for a count of 5 and then lower your wrist as far as you can comfortably for a count of 5. Complete this process 10 to 15 times twice daily.
The good news is that the pain of Tennis Elbow can be reduced and the long-term affects reversed.