Top 3 Exercises for Tennis Elbow (aka Lateral Epicondylitis)

Author: Madden PT

This is the top 3 exercises for tennis elbow. It is also known as lateral epicondylitis. Lateral meaning the outside of the elbow away from the body. Epicondyle is a bony part on the bottom part of your upper arm bone called the humerus that all of your forearm muscles on this side of your forearm attach to. So it is tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis. The first exercise that we do is this. People with tennis elbow frequently will have trouble gripping something because when they do, these forearm muscles are painful and they are inflamed. So what we do is we stretch that lightly.

You take your arm straight out in front, elbow straight, opposite hand on the back of your affected side. So if I'm having pain in my right elbow, my right elbow is straight with my left hand I am pressing down lightly on my right hand. I should fell a stretch right through that area that is inflamed. 30 second hold. In the clinic, we do 3 times. So that is exercise #1 is a stretch.

Exercise #2 what we do is you are going to go like this with a hammer. You can also use a dumbbell like this if you grab one end. In this case, we will use the hammer. You want to rest your elbow on something or just have your elbow at your side.

Then you are going to go as far as you can go one way and go back the opposite direction. This movement right here is called supination and for people with tennis elbow, they will frequently have pain doing that sort of movement. So if they are opening a jar or turning a door knob or something along those lines, they will have pain with that. Outside of the normal rest, ice, compression and elevation once their inflammation has calmed down and they want to strengthen it so it doesn’t return in the future, we have them do this movement. So lowering as far as you can one way and then going the opposite direction.

Top 3 Exercises for Tennis Elbow (aka Lateral Epicondylitis)

3 o’clock, 9 o’clock, 3 o’clock, 9 o’clock. In the clinic, we do that 30 times. If it is too light, we will add a weight at the end.

If it is too difficult, we will have the person just shorten up their grip on the object or decrease the weight. So 30 times. That is exercise #2. Exercise #3 is a wrist extension. So what we do here is we grab a dumbbell or a weight.

The forearm is resting on a mat, bend the wrist down and then extend it back up. Right here we do 30 times and we are using again those forearm muscles that are inflamed. When we see somebody with lateral epicondylitis, or tennis elbow, we want to make sure that they are calmed down first. That is usually with ice, rest, compression and elevation. Calm the area as much as possible. Get through that inflammatory process, the inflammation, the pain.

Then when we are helping them rehabilitate, getting these muscles to fire again pain free, these are the 3 exercises that we do. So this is a strengthening exercise. Again here start with really light weight maybe even no weight at all then progress up as the person is able to tolerate that.

Top 3 Exercises for Tennis Elbow (aka Lateral Epicondylitis)

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