Tennis Elbow Pain? Here's How Our Experts Suggest Combining Active Warmup and A Brace

Tennis Elbow Pain? Here's How Our Experts Suggest Combining Active Warmup and A Brace

Are you tired of dealing with the pain and frustration of tennis elbow? You're not alone. Fear not, our team of experienced clinicians and researchers have developed a rehabilitation strategy that combines active warm up, exercises and tennis elbow braces. With over 25 years of combined experience in treating and studying tennis elbow, our experts have found that this combination can greatly improve recovery and prevent future flare-ups. Read on to learn more about this effective approach to managing tennis elbow woes.

Understanding Tennis Elbow: Causes and Symptoms

Tennis elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis, is a common overuse injury that affects the tendons in the outer part of the elbow. Contrary to its name, this condition can occur in anyone who engages in repetitive motions, not just tennis players. The repetitive stress from activities such as playing tennis, typing on a keyboard, or even lifting heavy objects on the tendons can lead to small tears and inflammation, causing pain and discomfort.

To effectively manage tennis elbow, a combination of treatments is often recommended:

Active warmup

Aim 

Activity

Requirement

Goal

Consideration

Active Warm Up

Increase blood flow, soft tissue pliability, and temperature.

Treadmill walking or Upper body ergometer (UBE)

< 10 minutes at a comfortable pace(2.0mph on flat incline)

Up to 10 minutes

Avoid UBE for those with highly irritable symptoms


Brace 

To provide support and relieve strain on the tendons, our experts recommend using a counterforce strap during work and sports activities. This strap can be a game-changer in managing tennis elbow. It is important to note that the strap should not be worn while at rest as it is not necessary and may restrict blood flow.

tennis elbow therapies
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To properly utilise the counterforce strap, it should be placed about two finger widths below the painful area. This strategic placement allows for optimal support and compression. The strap should be adjusted to a tension level that is comfortable for the individual while their muscles remain relaxed. It is crucial not to over tighten the strap, as this can cause unnecessary pressure and potentially worsen symptoms.

Exercises

Phase 1

To begin your rehabilitation for tennis elbow, it is crucial to start with activating specific muscle groups without any resistance

Rehabilitation Steps

Description

Step 1: Unrestricted Isometric Activation of Serratus Anterior and Middle/Lower Trapezius Muscles

Perform exercises targeting these muscle groups without resistance. Focus on controlled activation to improve strength and stability.

Step 2: Unresisted or Isometric Activation of Wrist Musculature

Engage in exercises targeting wrist muscles without added weight or resistance. Isometric exercises involve contracting muscles without joint movement to build strength and stability in the wrist.

Repetition and Sets:

Perform up to three sets of ten repetitions for each exercise once per day. Consistent and progressive execution will help gradually build strength and endurance in the affected muscles.

Caution:

Listen to your body, and only perform exercises within your comfort level. If you experience pain or discomfort, modify the exercises or consult with a healthcare professional.


Phase 2

Rehabilitation Steps

Description

Step 1: Resisted Exercises for Serratus Anterior and Middle/Lower Trapezius Muscle Groups

Incorporate exercises targeting these muscle groups using resistance bands or weights. Movements may include rows, scapular retractions, and shoulder stabilizations. Gradually increase resistance from 1 to 10 pounds to challenge muscles and promote growth and endurance.

Step 2: Resisted Exercises for Elbow and Wrist Musculature (1-10 lbs)

Perform exercises targeting elbow and wrist muscles with resistance bands or small weights. Examples include wrist curls, wrist extensions, and pronation/supination exercises. Increase resistance gradually from 1 to 10 pounds to challenge muscles and facilitate strength and endurance development.

Repetition and Sets:

Work up to 3 sets of 10 repetitions for each exercise. Perform these resisted exercises once per day, every other day. This consistent routine aids in gradual strength building and improvement in muscle function.

Proper Form and Technique:

Maintain proper form and technique during each exercise to maximize effectiveness and prevent injury.

Caution:

Start with lighter weights and progressively increase resistance as muscles adapt and strengthen. Listen to your body, avoiding pushing through pain or discomfort. If experiencing excessive fatigue or pain, modify or discontinue the exercise and consult with a healthcare professional.


Phase 3

Advanced Rehabilitation Steps

Description

Step 1: Advanced Resisted Exercises for Serratus Anterior and Middle/Lower Trapezius Muscle Groups

Incorporate advanced exercises targeting these muscle groups, such as resisted rows, scapular retractions, and shoulder stabilizations. Utilize resistance bands or weights to challenge muscles, gradually increasing resistance and elongating the lever arm for enhanced strength and endurance development.

Step 2: Advanced Resisted Exercises for Elbow and Wrist Musculature (Including Plyometric Exercises)

Engage in advanced resisted exercises targeting elbow and wrist muscles, including wrist curls, wrist extensions, and pronation/supination exercises. Employ resistance bands or small weights for added challenge. Introduce plyometric exercises to further enhance muscle strength and function.

Repetition and Sets:

Work up to 3 sets of 10 repetitions for each exercise. Perform these advanced resisted exercises every other day, allowing for proper rest and recovery while still providing sufficient stimulus for muscle growth and adaptation.

Proper Form and Technique:

Proper Form and Technique:

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