Five exercises physical therapists use to treat tennis elbow

Tennis Elbow

Inflammation to the tendons along the outside of your elbow can develop from overexertion and repetitive activities. Known as tennis elbow, this inflammation is painful and limits your range of motion and grip strength. 

Despite the name, this condition can affect you even if you don’t play tennis. Any activity that requires repetitive arm movements can cause inflammation to develop in the tendons if you don’t get enough rest or are pushing yourself beyond your limits. Fortunately, physical therapists can help you reduce and prevent pain from tennis elbow.

Five physical therapy exercises for treating tennis elbow

Your physical therapist will examine your elbow and determine which exercises are right to include in your treatment. Exercises that physical therapists frequently use for tennis elbow include:

  1. Clenching — This exercise targets the muscles in the forearm that you use for your grip. Your physical therapist may have you hold a towel or a soft ball in your hand and have you squeeze and release it multiple times to build your grip strength.
  2. Weighted supination — Wrist supination exercises target the supinator muscle in your forearm. This is the muscle that attaches the forearm to the elbow. Weighted supination involves holding a light dumbbell or heavy object while slowly rotating your wrist to engage the supinator muscle.
  3. Wrist flexor stretch — Wrist flexors are muscles that cause the forearm to bend inward. Physical therapists may have you use a light weight for resistance while slowly flexing your wrist inward and engaging the flexors.
  4. Wrist extensor stretch — Wrist extensor muscles are the opposite of the flexors. They provide power for downward wrist movement, which can be affected by tennis elbow. With wrist extensor stretches, you will hold a light weight while slowly bending your wrist downward and back up in front of you.
  5. Finger stretch — Your physical therapist may place a resistance band around your fingers and have you slowly spread them and close them several times to stretch their muscles, tendons and ligaments.

Visit Panther Physical Therapy for tennis elbow treatment

Do you have constant pain along the outside of your elbow that affects your grip strength? You may need physical therapy for tennis elbow. Contact our team today for more information about tennis elbow or to schedule an initial appointment.