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Tennis elbow

Four simple strength and flexibility exercisesyou can do anywhere without special equipment



Tennis elbow (Lateral epicondylitis) is a condition where the outer part of the elbow becomes painful.


Commonly caused by racquet sports, hence the name, it can also be caused by any activity involving repeated or prolonged gripping and lifting, as well as a sudden blow to the elbow.


It involves the group of muscles on the forearm which lift and turn the wrist. These join to forma tendon attached to the outside of the elbow. When this is inflamed, it becomes difficult to do things which involve gripping, lifting or turning your wrist, such as turning taps, opening jars, lifting the kettle, or using a hammer.


To help prevent this injury, keep your forearm muscles strong and flexible, use correct technique when lifting (i.e. don’t let the wrist drop) and avoid excessive repetition and overloading. Here are four exercises that can help:


Two exercises for flexibility



Do these at least once a day


1. Stand facing a wall. Place both palms flat against the wall (fingers pointing down) and slide your hands up the wall until you feel stretch in your forearms. Hold for 20-30 seconds and repeat 2 to 3 times.


2. With your arm by your side, turn your arm inwards and flex your wrist so you feel stretch on the outside of your forearm.


Two exercises for strength



Do these on alternate days


3. With your forearm supported on a bench or table raise and slowly lower the weight by moving your hand up and down.


4. With your elbow bent and at your side, palm facing down, turn the weight over until your palm faces up and slowly return to your palm facing down.


Do three sets of 8-10 repetitions using a weight which fatigues the muscle e.g. a can of baked beans or a part-filled water bottle.


Need a little bit more help or advice?


If you do develop elbow pain, please talk to one of our physios for an accuratediagnosis and treatment plan


If you have pain or discomfort in your hands or lower arms, you may want to look at the hand therapy treatments available at our Royston Clinic in Hastings



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