Lateral epicondylitis is typically caused by repetitive movements at the wrist. The stress that is accumulated with repetitive wrist movements can lead to an injury at the proximal tendon of the wrist extensor musculature. Symptoms of tennis elbow include pain and tenderness on the outside of the elbow, weakness in the forearm, and difficulty gripping objects.
how physical therapy can help:
The goal of physical therapy is to reduce symptoms and improve the overall health of the injured tissue. Tennis elbow does not typically resolve on its own with rest. Soft tissue techniques and stretching are often used early on in treatment to help desensitize the injured tissue. The key for long-term success with this injury is to gradually strengthen the wrist extensor musculature. This is done in a specific manner to target the tendon to improve the health of this tissue. Our experienced physical therapists can provide you with the relief you need to get back to your active lifestyle.
exercises that may help reduce pain:
Try to keep pain below a 4/10 with these exercises and hold off on any exercises that produce pain beyond this measure.
Wrist Extensor Stretch – Start with your arm straight in front of you with your palm facing the floor. Using your opposite hand, bend your hand towards the floor until you feel a gentle stretch in the forearm. Hold this stretch for 2 minutes and repeat 2-3 times a day.
Wrist Extensor Eccentric Loading – Start by resting your forearm on a table with your hand off the edge. With a weight in your hand, move the wrist in an upward position. From here, slowly lower your wrist all the way down. This part of the exercise is key and should take 3-5 seconds to do. Start with 3 sets of 10-15 reps. Lower the weight if you experience pain greater than 4/10.
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