Prevention of Tennis Elbow is not something that would normally come to mind as part of a tennis training program, but it is important that we stay healthy. Before we get into any of the Exercises for Tennis Elbow, I will define tennis elbow and clear up a misconception that only tennis players get what people call tennis elbow.
“Tennis Elbow” is a common term for describing an overuse injury to the forearm with elbow pain in the outer area possibly radiating down the arm towards the wrist. Your doctor will use the term Lateral Epicondylitis when referring to tennis elbow. There is another related condition called “Golfers Elbow” with the medical term of Medial Epicondylitis referring to pain on the inner elbow. Both tennis and golfers elbow are caused by overuse of the arm, elbow, and wrist in some way.
Tennis Elbow Treatment and Prevention
There are are many good tennis elbow exercises for prevention and rehabilitation, but knowing which ones will help or hurt is the tough part. Although most people will recover from tennis or golfers elbow without the need for surgery by doing something more conservative like Forearm Stretching and Strengthening Exercises, you need to know which exercises to do and more importantly how many to do. In this article, I am going to share with you the tennis elbow treatment that I used to recover from a severe case of elbow tendonitis and the strengthening Exercises that I have been using to prevent a relapse.
Who Gets Elbow Pain?
I found on WebMD.com that less than 5% of the elbow pain cases are actually caused by playing tennis. It is interesting though that 50% of tennis players are affected at some point during their careers.
Tennis elbow affects 1% to 3% of the population overall and as many as 50% of tennis players during their careers. Less than 5% of all tennis elbow diagnoses are related to actually playing tennis.
Tennis elbow affects men more than women. It most often affects people between the ages of 30 and 50, although people of any age can be affected.
Although tennis elbow commonly affects tennis players, it also affects other athletes and people who participate in leisure or work activities that require repetitive arm, elbow, and wrist movement. Examples include golfers, baseball players, bowlers, gardeners or landscapers, house or office cleaners (because of vacuuming, sweeping, and scrubbing), carpenters, mechanics, and assembly-line workers.
Are You At Risk to Develop Tennis or Golfers Elbow?
As you can see the statistics show that both tennis players and non-tennis players are at risk depending on their daily activities. The good news is that elbow tendonitis treatment and prevention are the same if you are a tennis player or not. When I had tennis elbow in the past, it was rough on me being unable to play sports or even do daily activities. So, I learned how to prevent the problem because it is better to prevent an injury than to spend months recovering from one. The Tennis Elbow Strengthening Exercises that I use to prevent the injury actually helps me play tennis better in the end because of the added strength in my forearm and wrist due to the highly targeted workout routine, so the short amount of time that I spend on these exercises every week is well worth it because they keep me on the tennis court instead of in tennis elbow rehab dreaming of ripping 135mph tennis serves past opponents again someday.
Prevent Tendonitis by Resting Your Arm
While you are resting, your arm is recovering from any trauma that you have inflicted upon it. So, listen to your body; and take days off as needed to keep inflammation at a minimum. Once your arm gets overly inflamed, the swelling might begin to make tendons rub due to lack of room causing more tissue damage which could end in a full blown injury. So, learn how your body responds to doing high risk activities like hammering or playing tennis multiple days in a row, and mix up your routine if you can to allow your body to recover. Keep telling yourself that it is better to prevent an injury than to rehab one. This is especially true if an injury will leave you unable to work for an extended length of time.
Use Ice Dips to Prevent Elbow Tendonitis
At the first sign of discomfort or inflammation, I rush home and setup an Ice Dip. This consists of filling an ice chest with water and a bag or two of Ice and submerging my arm in the ice water for a short period of time. I found that this helped me recover from a full blown case of elbow tendonitis, so I use it to help bring down inflammation and promote healing before things get out of control.
Ice Dip Protocol That Works Well For Me
1) Setup an Ice Chest, Sink, or Bowl full of ice and water.
2) Place your arm in the ice water for only 10-20 seconds.
3) Remove your arm from the ice water.
4) Dry off your arm with a towel.
5) Repeat from steps 2 through 4 about 10-15 times over a 2 hour period.
I keep repeating this Ice Dip Routine daily until my symptoms are gone which could take a week or two.
Below is a Short Video Demonstrating an Ice Dip for Tennis Elbow Relief
This shocks the tissues of your arm causing them to squeeze slightly which moves some blood and possibly toxins away from the injury and out of your arm for a moment. When you then remove your arm from the ice dip, new nutrient rich blood will flow back into your arm and back to the injury. The cold will not only relieve pain as with other icing methods, but it gets nutrient rich blood flowing to the damaged tissue in your arm much like hot/cold therapy. I have found that the Ice Dip works much better than the hot/cold therapy because the heat cycle tends to cause too much inflammation in the early stages of an injury, so I will not cover hot/cold therapy here because it is not something that I do.
Forearm Flexor and Extensor Stretching to Prevent Elbow Tendonitis
Before performing exercises or high risk activities, a couple of tennis elbow exercises that should be done to prepare your muscles and tendons for the challenge ahead. These tennis elbow exercises are easy to do and do not take much time, so do not skip doing these stretches because they could save you both pain and time in the end.
1) For each of your arms.
2) Hold one arm straight out in front of your body with your palm facing up.
3) With your other hand gently pull the fingertips of your straight arm down.
4) You should feel a light stretch in your forearm.
5) Hold this light stretch for about 20-30 seconds.
6) Repeat steps 1 through 5 now with your palm down.
7) Repeat these stretches a few times on each arm.
Below is a Short Video Demonstrating these Forearm Stretching Exercises for Tennis Elbow Treatment
Secret Weapon Against Elbow Pain
When I was researching tennis elbow treatments, I came across an obscure, inexpensive, simple device that helps prevent and treat elbow tendonitis and forearm pain called the Thera-Band Flexbar. The manufacturer claims that it has been ResearchProven Effective for Tennis Elbow Relief, Offering a Low Cost, and Effective Treatment. I tried out the Flexbar tennis elbow exercises and was surprised how well they worked for me.
I purchased a Flexbar in each of the resistance levels (Yellow, Green, Red, and Blue). I started doing with the Yellow one and worked my way up to the Blue one over a couple of months. My forearm is now stronger than ever due to using these bars. The theory is that using the Flexbar produces Eccentric or Negative Resistance which helps strengthen tendons. These Eccentric Tennis Elbow Exercises are considered one of the best way to get your body to heal the problem. There was an article about using the Flexbar Exercises for Tennis Elbow Relief on the New York Times site that has a lot of information about how it works. I found the bars super easy to use and ultra effective, so take a look at them if you are trying to prevent or recover from Tennis Elbow.
Tennis Elbow Rehabilitation and Recovery
If you already have Tennis or Golfers Elbow, you need an expert to help you recover due to the complexities that could be involved in your case. When I had severe elbow tendonitis, I found an expert in Tennis and Golfers Elbow that was selling an effective Tennis Elbow Rehabilitation Program. Using the material provided in this program along with doing Ice Dips, I was able to recover fully. If you are serious about relieving the pain and returning to sports or work, you owe it to yourself to get the this program as well.
The Tennis Elbow Program that I used was created by a personal trainer named Geoff who works and lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Geoff has provided many years of personal training to a wide variety of clients as well as worked extensively as a consultant to various health centers on nutrition and exercise. Geoff will help you determine how much damage has been done and provide a workout program for you to start working towards recovery. Geoff will provide this information to you at a very reasonable price, and it could save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars over frantically trying various products, programs, and high-tech stuff to find a solution. Geoff has already done the legwork for us, and he has helped many clients successfully recover from injuries over the years. His Tennis Elbow Treatment Program includes an E-Book that is around 180 pages that is full of pictures making the specialized tennis elbow exercises easy to understand. The program also includes videos that you can watch on your computer to see exactly how to do his rehabilitation exercises for tennis elbow.
The Treatment Journal is the Key to Success
This Tennis Elbow Program includes a specialized tennis elbow treatment journal giving you a place to record and follow your progress. This journal also gives you a simple cheat sheet with all the tennis elbow exercises you are doing and how many recommended repetitions you should do during each session as you make progress. This is probably the most powerful part of recovering from tennis elbow because you might think that you know what to do, but quick recovery from tennis elbow is about knowing what exercises are safe to do, how to do them, and how many tennis elbow strengthening exercises to do depending on your current condition.
Geoff’s Tennis Elbow Program is backed by a Risk Free, 60 day, 100% No-Hassle, No Questions Asked, Money Back Guarantee. So, You have nothing to lose.
You Deserve to be Pain Free! Geoff’s Tennis Elbow Program Helped me become Pain Free!
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I am not a doctor, so I am not qualified to treat, diagnose, or prevent any medical conditions whatsoever. If you think that you have tennis or golfers elbow, you need to be properly diagnosed by your doctor so he can help you determine the correct treatment. Do not do any of the exercises for tennis elbow in this article without first checking with your doctor. There are other medical conditions that can cause you to have pain similar to tennis and golfers elbow, so make sure you check with your doctor even if the pain is mild.