Tennis Elbow Exercise/ Lateral Epicondylitis Treatment and Rehabilitation
Finding the correct tennis elbow exercise program can be a difficult task. Many people have visited physios and doctors to no avail. Powerball is going to show you 3 tennis elbow exercise treatment programs which have had proven results.
Lateral epicondylitis, commonly known as tennis elbow, affects around 1% – 3% of the population. It is an overuse injury, originating in the wrist extensor muscles, rather than an inflammatory problem. It is brought on by occupational activities and sports that involve a repetitive wrist motion or repetitive gripping action. These repetitive movements can cause pain and lesions in the muscle tissue. The condition is most commonly associated with work-related activities rather than with playing tennis.
There are three types of exercises that sufferers of Lateral Epicondylitis/ tennis elbow can carry out,
Tennis Elbow Treatment types
- eccentric exercises,
- concentric exercises
- and isometric exercise.
All three types have been proven to have positive effects for Tennis elbow sufferers.
In this article we will bring you through examples of eccentric, concentric and isometric exercises for curing tennis elbow.
Eccentric water bottle tennis elbow exercises
1 litre (1kg) for Females, 2 Litre (2kg) for males adding extra weight as strength increases.
Supporting your arm on a chair, bend your wrist downwards and upwards slowly 15 times. 3 x 15 repetitions daily.
This exercise is a basic static exercise which will help lengthen elongate and stretch the muscles in your arms and build strength.
This same exercise can be carried out raising the bottle upwards with concentric exercise, however, studies found this to be less effective.
Concentric dumb-bell strengthening programme
Start with a 1- or 2-lb dumbbell.
Sit on a chair next to a table that has an edge or an overhang.
Bend the elbow to 90 degrees, palm should be facing the floor. Slowly lower the weight, then slowly raise it toward the ceiling. Be aware that performing this exercise can be painful. Lower and raise the weight 10 times or until;
a) it becomes too painful
b) you just don’t have the strength to move the dumbbell any further.
Rest a few minutes.
Fully straighten the elbow flat across a table (you might have to lean over the table or crouch next to it); palm should be facing the floor. Slowly lower and raise the weight 10 times, as described in step 3.
Once 10 repetitions have become easy to do, with hardly any pain, increase the weight by 1 or 2 lb.
Pain should start getting better by week 4 or 6. Continue the exercises once a day, 7 days a week, for about 3 months. Your doctor might need to make some adjustments to your program if there is no improvement after 6 weeks.
Powerballs Isometric Tennis Elbow Exercise Treatment
Isometric exercise is extremely effective in the treatment of Lateral epicondylitis/Tennis elbow. This is due to the non-impact nature of the exercise. Eccentric and concentric exercises for Tennis Elbow especially for chronic sufferers can be very painful.
Powerballs Isometric exercise is non-impact and pain-free allowing you to stretch and heal strained and painful tendons and muscles. The video below is a physio designed exercise programme specifically for Lateral epicondylitis/Tennis elbow.
See Tennis Elbow video:
Following this short program with your Powerball®, just 2-3 times per week will greatly assist in reversing tennis elbow conditions. This is achieved through stimulating significantly improved blood flow into the arm, stretching out and lengthening the forearm extensor muscle. This takes pressure off the connecting tendon easing the pain. All of which helps reduce inflammation in the tendon itself and increases overall range of movement at the elbow joint. Relief will be immediate.
Step 1 To Begin
Grip Powerball® firmly between thumb and four digits, making sure Powerball® is seated securely in the palm of the hand (see figure 2).
Start your Powerball® in the usual manner and accelerate up to a comfortable spin speed. If you don’t know how check out the ‘Getting Started’ page on our site at Powerballs.com for videos and instructions. It is very important that you spin only with your wrist and not the arm – rotating clockwise or anticlockwise as preferred.
Spin speed is determined by your personal strength and fitness level as well as the severity of your condition. The purpose here is not to strengthen, but to loosen out and warm up the muscle tissue by bringing about increased blood flow in the limb. Therefore, rhythmic, slower spins of 2-3 minutes in duration (or longer if you prefer) are preferable to short, faster spinning for this specific program.
Faster spinning produces more resistance requiring the wrist flexor and extensor muscles to work harder while gripping. This is useful for the purposes of strengthening healthy muscle tissue but not beneficial in this instance where there is likely to be an accumulation of scar tissue and inflammation. Excess resistance is, therefore, to be avoided during this rehabilitation phase, thus slower spinning is preferable.
Note: It is recommended that you wear a light, skin tight garment to help reduce possible friction on the skin during the following steps.
Step 2 Tennis Elbow Treatment Pre-massage warm up process
Once the entire forearm has been sufficiently warmed up in this way, stop the spinning rotor and place Powerball® into your opposite hand, gripping it firmly.
Using ONLY the FLAT base of your Powerball®, begin to slide it up and down the forearm (as illustrated in figure 3). Use firm, fluid strokes from wrist to elbow, applying gentle downward pressure of the smooth plastic shell surface into the muscle.
You may do this as quickly or slowly as you prefer; your objective here is to warm up and loosen out a tight extensor muscle. The speed/pressure of the strokes used will always depend on the severity of your own particular RSI condition and tolerance levels.
Step 3 Deep tissue massage process
Deep tissue/self massage from wrist to elbow helps reduce extensor muscle tension by breaking down adhesions and surface knots in the actual muscle fiber. Blood flow will have been significantly enhanced during the pre-massage process above and you should now find that the muscle is in a far more pliable, relaxed state and is exerting considerably less pressure on the connecting tendon at the elbow.
Now take Powerball® and elevate it to 45 degrees so that the curved edge of the shell is the only part in contact with the forearm (figure 4).
Beginning at the wrist, slowly move Powerball® up along the forearm toward the elbow. Press down firmly into the belly of the muscle as you go. Imagine that you’re trying to lengthen the actual muscle, pressing deeper into the tissue with each stroke.
NOTE: Take care AT ALL TIMES to avoid working directly over the tendon itself or any point in the muscle that may already be inflamed. Sore tendon areas will be far more sensitive to pressure than surrounding muscle tissue. If actual discomfort is experienced, however, simply reduce downward pressure significantly or stop the treatment entirely and allow the area to recover before continuing.
As you proceed, you’ll also likely encounter areas in the muscle that may require more localised pressure. These are trigger points or contraction knots in the muscle fibers. Through breaking these down by applying firmer pressure with Powerball’s shell can bring particular relief to the tennis elbow condition.
In many cases, the highest relief will be felt by applying suitable pressure to the muscle at a point immediately below where it attaches to the tendon (figure 5).
Step 4 Stretch it out
It is recommended that you finish each tennis elbow treatment with a light 30-60 second stretching of the wrist area as illustrated in figure 5. This will help to further lengthen out the muscle, taking, even more, pressure off the elbow tendons.
Continue the massage treatment for 3-5 minutes, stretching the arm out periodically in between. If you’re applying sufficient pressure in each stroke, you’ll notice an immediate increase in pain-free range of motion at the elbow joint as tension and pressure in both the muscle and tendon diminish.
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View a testimonial from one of our customers who suffered with Tennis Elbow.
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TENNIS ELBOW FROM OVER-USE OF A LAPTOP?
I got tennis elbow from constantly using my laptop and it was a major issue. It got so bad, I couldn’t lift a glass of water using my right arm, my elbow would just give way. Firstly, I started some exercise to help strengthen and rebuild but it was hard going, causing me more injury at times.
I got really fed up with the pain and having a useless arm, especially since I am right handed, so I went searching online for something better and discovered Powerball®. I used it regularly and it really has given strength back and reduced my pain considerably, a fantastic outcome. It’s all taken only a few weeks so it’s a great result as I suffered for months before this.
Michael Cutler, Bristol, UK