Five Best Exercises for Tennis Elbow Rehabilitation

Recovering from tennis elbow? Here are the top five exercises that can help reduce pain and improve mobility as you heal – plus the exercises you should be avoiding to prevent additional damage to an already strained joint.

Are you recovering from an injury to the elbow joint commonly referred to as “tennis elbow”? If so, it’s important that you rehabilitate your joint carefully, to strengthen it and prevent future injuries. These five exercises can help (check with your doctor before starting any exercise or rehabilitation regimen.)

1. Wrist turns

These should be done with the hands empty at first, then with a light weight like a can of food in the hand to increase strength.

  • Hold your arm down to the side, and bend your elbow at a right angle, as if you were handing someone in front of you an item, hand open, palm up.
  • Twist your wrist around slowly until your palm is facing down, and hold the position for 5 seconds before slowly rotating back.
  • Complete 3 sets of 10 repetitions each, resting between sets. 

2. Wrist lifts

These should be done with a light weight like a can of food in the hand to increase strength.

  • Hold your arm down to the side, and bend your elbow at a right angle, as if you were handing someone in front of you an item, hand open, palm up holding the weight.
  • Bend your hand and wrist up towards your body, and hold the position for 5 seconds before releasing slowly
  • Complete 3 sets of 10 repetitions each, resting between sets. 

3. Elbow bends

To perform elbow bend, you should be sitting or standing and can hold a can of food in your hand for added strength.

  • Stand straight or sit in a chair without arms, and lower your arm to your side, palm facing forward.
  • Slowly bend your arm upwards until your hand touches your shoulder, and hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds.
  • Complete 3 sets of 5 repetitions each, resting between sets.

4. Wrist extensor stretch and flex

This exercise can be done standing or seated.

  • Raise your arm straight out in front of your body, with the palm facing down.
  • To stretch, slowly bend your wrist downwards, and using the other hand, gently pull the back of the hand back towards your body.
  • Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds, then straighten your wrist again.
  • To flex, slowly bend your wrist upwards, and using the other hand, gently pull the fingers back towards your body.
  • Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds, then straighten your wrist again.
  • Do 3 repetitions of each, for 3 sets each, switching back and forth between stretching and flexing.

5.Towel twist

This requires a medium sized towel, rolled up loosely to make a thick rope.

  • Grasp each end of the towel rope with a hand, keeping your shoulders relaxed.
  • Twist the towel as far as you can in one direction, then the other, as if wringing out water, 10 times in each direction.
  • Do 3 sets, resting in between.

These exercises can help you build strength and increase flexibility and mobility. If you have elbow pain or injury, contact Dr. Strasburger for a consultation. 

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