Despite its name, most people who get tennis elbow don’t actually play tennis – it can affect anyone of any age. The issue stems from people who repeatedly use their elbow, wrist, and hand for an extended period of time. Tennis elbow is a painful condition that affects the outer portion of your elbow, forearm, or wrist. It’s generally seen as a degenerative condition and, if left untreated, the pain can become more intense and greatly hinder your daily life.
Thankfully, most tennis elbow cases are mild in nature and can be treated with intensive physical therapy. At TRI Physical Therapy (PT), we’re a Tricare health center that provides patients with elbow physical therapy in Brooklyn. Our physical therapy processes and treatments will help you mitigate the current symptoms of tennis elbow and stop it from worsening.
Contact our TRI PT physical therapists today to learn how we will provide treatment on your elbow if you’re feeling any unnatural pain or discomfort.
What Are Some Of The Main Causes Of Tennis Elbow?
There can be many causes of tennis elbow, but the most common factor is the repeated and overworked movements performed on your elbow or wrist. The tendons in your forearm muscle, attached to your elbow, become inflamed and cause great pain in that area. Activities requiring repetitive movements in activities such as tennis, sports, painting, and construction can cause the symptom to appear.
You don’t have to be an athlete for this condition to negatively affect you. Actions that use your joints and muscles ineffectively are more common than you think, like chopping up ingredients for cooking, using your computer mouse for too long, or repeated use of household tools can cause tennis elbow. This can create great pain and weakness on the exterior surface of your elbow, which can sometimes transfer to your wrist and forearm.
The best way to prevent tennis elbow is by staying fit and using proper techniques in your sport or job activity. You can also consider using equipment that is designed specifically for your body type and activity level. Reaggravation of tennis elbow can occur when your tendons haven’t fully healed, muscle and joint mobility weren’t fully restored, or you employ improper form during your activities.
A physical therapist can help determine the cause of your tennis elbow and when you’re ready to return to normal activity. They also can help you prepare special exercises that may help heal and improve the strength of your elbow.
What Exercises Can I Do If My Elbow Hurts?
Physical therapists are movement experts and will employ a variety of exercises to deal with your tennis elbow. Their methods can gently heal the affected areas, build muscle strength, and avoid further injury from happening. The purpose of some of these exercises is to improve your quality of life through practical care, patient education, and prescribed movement.
Some of the exercises you can do are wrist extensions and wrist flexions. Wrist extensions involve taking a light dumbbell and holding it in your injured hand, with your palm facing down. From there, you sit down and extend your wrist outward by curling it slightly downward and back up again. Wrist flexions involve a similar technique, except here you’ll need to curl the wrist of your injured arm upward and back down to its natural position. Repeat the movement in reps often in one direction and ten times in the other.
Another exercise your physical therapist may prescribe is towel twists. This is an exercise where you sit down on a chair and keep your shoulders relaxed. You’ll hold a towel with both hands and twist it like you would wringing out water from it. Repeat this movement in sets of ten reps in one direction and the other.
Other exercises you can perform include first clenches, finger stretches, and ball squeezes. Every person dealing with tennis elbow is different and physical therapists will prescribe various exercises to best treat the issue. This also extends to how long and how often you’ll need to perform physical therapy exercises for your tennis elbow.
How Often Should You Do Physical Therapy Exercises For Tennis Elbow?
The amount of times you’ll have to do physical therapy exercises for your tennis elbow depends on the severity of your injury and your own preferences. As we went over previously, the amount of reps for each exercise is around ten. Our physical therapists will be with you every step of the way in the whaling process. That includes setting up a comprehensive plan that includes the type of exercise you’ll perform and how often you should do them.
At TRI PT, our physical therapists may also begin treatment programs tailored towards a speedy recovery through methods such as hands-on practices or ice/heat treatments. Our exercise programs will also help you correct muscle weakness in your elbow, giving you the opportunity to perform them on yourself at home.
Contact us at TRI PT today to learn more about our extensive treatment programs for conditions like tennis elbow. Work with our excellent physical therapists now to help you recover effectively from tennis elbow.