Following on from our popular post on what tennis elbow really is and what causes it (not just tennis!) We are going to show you the three things that will speed things up.
Why exercises for tennis elbow?
Studies have shown (as well as clinical experience) that physiotherapy and rehab exercises are better than the wait and see approach, better than ultrasound and have better long-term results than cortisone injection!(1,2)
So here are our best tennis elbow exercises and tips:
Ice: in the early stages ice is very effective in easing pain. Apply in ten minutes at a time, making sure you avoid ice-burn by wrapping it up. Also if your injury is not in the acute/early stages then heat can also be effective.
Tennis elbow braces really do help the majority of people. They work by importantly altering the line of pull of the tendons, adding compression and by retaining heat. You can find good braces all over the place, including on amazon, most pharmacies or best yet drop into your local physio and get them to order you the one that suits.
And last but most importantly, this great rehab regime combines two tennis elbow exercises for great results. Because tennis elbow is basically where the tendon fibres have become bunched up and messy, tennis elbow exercises need to progressively work to re-align these fibers to correct and fix the problem. So here is the exercise regimen:
Forearm stretch. Straighten your elbow and pull your fingers towards the front of your wrist. Hold this for 30 seconds.
Eccentric strengthening. Place your forearm on a bench with your wrist and hand off the edge. Holding a weight, extend your wrist up and then lower it down again (this needs to be in control, so slow it down).
Repeat for 3 sets of ten repetitions.
The weight used needs to be started small and gradually increased. Start with either nothing or 250grams (a can of beans) and gradually increase as it becomes comfortable a pain-free.
Forearm stretch. Yep, stretch it out again to finish it off – a 30 second hold please.
And that’s it, incorporate #1 and #2 in whenever needed and do the exercise regime once a day.
Note: You will need perseverance as no matter what you do, there is never a quick fix with tennis elbow and usually takes 6-12 weeks to resolve with good treatment. But, if you do these tennis elbow exercises everyday, you will have a good shot at sorting it out.