The tennis elbow (epicondylitis lateral), the golfer or pitcher (medial epicondylitis) is not a problem recently: like all tendonitis is an inflammatory state is not easy to treat but there are exercises for the epicondylitis that, associated with treatments specific physiotherapy, can help you solve the problem.
It is a disorder that affects the elbow, arm, and wrist: it causes pain, swelling, weakness in handgrip strength, stiffness, difficulty extending the wrist. You’ve tried natural remedies, you’re looking for a brace, but that’s not enough: you need the drastic solution that only correct movement and therapeutic exercise can offer you. You have abused the wrist extensor muscle and that constant pain on the outer side of the elbow (where the muscles responsible for gripping the hand gather) affects your life a lot.
You are not a tennis player, you know that 95% of people suffering from epicondylitis do not practice any kind of sport and you also know that epicondylitis can be defeated thanks to movement, certain stretching and strengthening exercises. I am ready to suggest the simplest and most effective exercises for epicondylitis that you can do where and when you want.
Exercises for epicondylitis: do’s and don’ts
I say this to you as to anyone else: don’t make the mistake of underestimating your pain and only trying to remedy it when it becomes unbearable.
In the acute phase, before starting to perform the exercises for epicondylitis, ask for advice from an orthopedic doctor or a qualified physiotherapist who will help you correct any errors in the execution.
I always recommend never to force, not to do the exercises too vigorously or with excessive loads (weights, dumbbells). You have to start gradually, slowly and then build up you’re training and loads as you feel stronger and fairly loose.
If you overdo it with excessive series of exercises at the wrong time, you risk making your symptoms worse rather than improving them.
The recommended epicondylitis exercises
- The number one cause of elbow pain is always an overload of the wrist extensor muscles. Extensor tendons are poorly vascularized, making it more difficult to get rid of inflammation than other structures.
- Certain stretching and strengthening exercises can help a lot to promote blood circulation in the compromised area, to supply oxygen to the tissues by eliminating the typical waste of inflammation.
- The stretching has as its objective to stretch selectively and gradually the muscles involved: once arrived at the point of tension (not pain, voltage), must be maintained for a certain number of seconds before releasing.
- Strengthening the arm and forearm muscles means stabilizing the elbow joint reducing the risk of injury.
- Before starting the exercises that I recommend in this guide, always do a short warm-up.
- Each exercise must be performed with both limbs (left and right) in three series of 10 or 15 repetitions considering a recovery break of 2-3 minutes between one series and another.
- If you feel a lot of pain during stretching exercises, stop immediately as this could make the situation worse.
- The stretching exercises can be groped immediately, while strengthening must be carried out when the level of inflammation and pain is sufficiently reduced.
- I recommend doing them every day for at least a month.
Exercise for epicondylitis # 1
The first is a very simple but equally effective compensation and balancing exercise.
Place your forearm on a tabletop, hold a tennis ball or soft anti-stress ball in each hand and hold it for at least 5 seconds, then release.
Squeeze several times in a row. Repeat 3 sets of 10 hold each. Keep practicing until you hold your grip for as long as possible.
Exercise for epicondylitis # 2
Grab a club and flex your elbow to 90 degrees keeping your forearm parallel to the ground. Perform clockwise and counterclockwise frontal wrist circles.
Exercise for epicondylitis # 3
Holding the dumbbell, flex your elbow to 90 ° and, keeping your arm close to the trunk, perform pronation and supination movements of the forearm (by rotating the wrist).
Exercise for epicondylitis # 4
Standing, always keeping the arm close to the trunk, positioned with the arm extended downwards and the forearm in supination (palm facing forward). Flex and extend your forearm.
Do the same exercise starting with the arm extended down but with the forearm in pronation (back of the hand facing forward), then flex and extend always keeping the arm close to the trunk.
Exercise for epicondylitis # 5
Standing with your legs apart, bring the arm holding the dumbbell behind your neck. Extend your forearm by moving the dumbbell up, then return to the starting position.
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Exercise for epicondylitis # 6
In a standing position, extend your arm forward horizontally and bend your wrist back and forth. This simple exercise targets active joint flexibility (active ROM). Repeat 3 sets of 10 movements each.
Exercise for epicondylitis # 7
Standing (upright position) near a table rest your palms over it, keep them open with the elbow extended. Keep in this position for at least 15 seconds.
Exercise for epicondylitis # 8
Using one hand, bend the opposite wrist downwards by pressing the back of the hand: hold it for 15-30 seconds. Then, extend your hand backward, pressing your fingers in the opposite direction and holding this position for 15-30 seconds. During this exercise, keep your elbow straight. Do 3 sets for each hand.
Adjustable band, bracelet, or elbow?
A quality elbow brace reduces pain and swelling, warms the area affected by epicondylitis, compresses improving blood circulation, and preventing injury. As a result, it reduces pain and swelling. At the same time, it protects the inflamed tendon as it reduces overload, prevents you from overstressing it and making efforts.
You can choose between band, bracelet, and adjustable elbow pad: the latter, made of neoprene, provides maximum protection.