As a very bad tennis player, I feel I can speak with authority on this subject! It also helps that I’m a chiropractor. However, personal acquaintance with a subject really does give one a deeper appreciation for it.
Tennis elbow is properly known as lateral epicondylitis; it is a repetitive strain injury of the extensor muscles of the forearm. It can result in pain in the outer part of the elbow, from the elbow to the wrist, weakness in the forearm and increased pain with turning or bending one’s wrist back.
Treatment is focused on the muscles of the forearm, so massage therapy and acupuncture are best, along with chiropractic care to ensure proper movement of the elbow and wrist.
Then, once pain-free, a referral to the physiotherapist for exercises to strengthen the area and help prevent recurrence. Rest and ice are also important for recovery but depending on the severity of the problem you may require anti-inflammatory medication. Did you know that you can have tennis elbow without ever picking up a racquet? Any prolonged activity with your wrist (knitting, holding a tablet, hammering) can cause it.
Here are a few stretches to do before activity:
1. FINGER STRETCH WITH RUBBER BAND
Place a rubber band around your thumb and fingers, and slightly cup your hand. Gently spread your thumb and fingers apart then back together. Repeat 10 times for three sets.
Hold a soft object (for example, putty or a small rubber ball) in your hand and squeeze the object continuously for 10 to 15 minutes, two or three times a day.
3. DOWNWARD WRIST STRETCH
Hold one arm straight out in front of you, and hold the hand with the other hand. Slowly bend your wrist down (and slightly out) until you feel a stretch. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds, then relax. Repeat two or three times.
If you are a tennis player… stretch, relax your grip and consider investing