Lateral epicondylitis, commonly known as tennis elbow, is an often-seen sports injury that can occur to anyone performing repetitive wrist and arms motions involving force. Common symptoms of tennis elbow include:
Forearm, wrist, and hand weakness that makes it difficult to grip objects
Pain in the wrists and hands when using them to grip objects
Physical therapy for tennis elbow helps treat these symptoms and prevent them from worsening. There are a number of simple exercises that anyone can perform at home, as IMPACT Physical Therapy shows below!
Physical Therapy for Tennis Elbow
If you are experiencing the symptoms of tennis elbow, it’s likely that rest will resolve the issue. Because temporary tennis elbow can become chronic, it’s very important to not strain yourself. You can also perform some of these basic stretches carefully to conduct your own physical therapy for tennis elbow:
Wrist Extension and Flexion: Straighten your arm, bend your wrist back with your fingers pointing upwards, and pull it with your other hand until you feel a stretch in your forearm. For a wrist flexion, point your hand downwards and perform the same stretch. You can do both of these as 5 reps, four times a day, for 5-7 days a week.
Wrist Turn: Bend the elbow at a right angle and extend the palm outwards facing up. Slowly twist your wrist until your palm is facing downwards. Hold this for 5 seconds. You can do 2 sets of 10 reps for this exercise.
Elbow Bend: Stand up straight and hold your arm down to one side. Slowly bend your arm upwards, bringing your hand to your shoulder, holding your finishing position for 15 to 30 seconds. Do 10 reps for this useful exercise.
Physical Therapy for Tennis Elbow with Weights
It’s easy to find a set of 1, 2, or 3-pound weights for these strengthening exercises. Remember to perform each step carefully and slowly:
Wrist Extension Strengthening
Start with no weight. Place your forearm on a table, making a 90-degree angle with your elbow. Your palm should be facing the ground.
Bend your wrist up as far as you can. Hold for 1 second then slowly lower for 3 seconds.
If you can do 30 reps for 2 days without any pain, you can add a 1-pound weight and keep performing this exercise. Continue with the 1-pound weight until you can do 30 reps in 2 days, then increase another pound until you can complete the exercise with a 3-pound weight.
This exercise can also be done in stages, with you straightening your elbow slightly and starting back at the first step until you can perform the activity with a straight elbow.
Wrist Flexion Strengthening
Wrist flexion strengthening is another effective physical therapy for tennis elbow. The steps you follow are much like those for wrist extension, but you should begin this exercise with your palm facing upwards.
Find Physical Therapy for Tennis Elbow
If you’re worried about your tennis elbow symptoms, you can find physical therapy for tennis elbow at IMPACT Physical Therapy. If it’s your first visit, we’ll know what questions to ask and further physical therapy recommendations. Request an appointment online today!