Tennis Elbow still getting you down? Here's 2 more ways to better isolate the issue!
Lateral epicondylitis, more commonly known as tennis elbow, impacts people beyond tennis players. If you have ever aggravated this part of your forearm, you'll know it. The pain even when doing elementary tasks like twisting a doorknob or lifting a coffee mug is unmistakable. What causes this condition and what can you do about it?
Pain that's here to stay... unless you actively do something!
As a follow up to the last post, tennis elbow can be stubborn- it lingers, it takes time to alleviate and worst of all, it prevents you from doing some of life's most basic activities! Take it from us, we understand this injury all too well as it can show up a lot in the gym as well as sports. Most people take the road of least resistance- they simply lay off of the site of injury until they don't notice it much anymore. There are 3 inherent problems with this method:
It WILL come back- maybe not tomorrow or next week, but inevitably it will rear its ugly head if you are performing the same activities
Repeated exposure makes the pain and injury last LONGER. Yep. You heard that right. Repeated exposure can create a chronic condition of localized pain in the elbow.
Muscles are not strengthened and movement patterns are not modified. These 2 things are especially important in breaking the pain cycle.
Exercise #2 - Wrist/Forearm Extension
You started things off by extending your fingers and isolating the small extensors of your forearm. GREAT! Now its off to the larger groups of the forearm.
Start with a neutral arm position on a table or an arm of a chair with the wrist and hand in a closed position.
Keeping the hand closed, raise your knuckles to the ceiling until they can't move any further. This should not be stressful, but you want to ensure you are using all of your available range of motion in your forearm. Start off with a few sets of 10 to 15 reps at a controlled pace. Add weight over time if you feel the need.
Exercise #3 - Wrist/Forearm Rotation (Supination)
We know that your wrist doesn't just move in one direction, so we also want to incorporate some rotation that will further address the connection point to the elbow. This will give you better overall development of your forearm extensors.
As usual, start with a neutral arm position on a table or an arm of a chair with the wrist and hand in a closed position.
Slowly rotate your forearm in an outward direction (your palm should be facing up) until you can't anymore- again this should not be strenuous. Repeat a few sets of 10-15 in controlled fashion. Add some weight if you like once this seems too easy.
Now REMEMBER: The idea here is to train your muscles to operate with full range of motion- failing to do so is what got you here in the first place! Be patient and remind yourself that this is not about pushing the resistance limits of these muscles. With proper form and technique, you should start to experience some relief over time. From here, we would expand on these concepts and tie them into other accessory muscle groups to create overall functionality.
For more tips and information, be sure to talk with one of us on the Body Worx Team!