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Alleviating Tennis Elbow with Bodywork

Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, is a condition characterized by inflammation of the tendons that attach to the lateral epicondyle (the bony bump on the outer part of the elbow). Massage therapy and stretching can be beneficial in managing tennis elbow. However, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional or a qualified massage therapist before attempting any techniques to ensure they are suitable for your specific condition. Here are some general recommendations:


1. Forearm Massage:

  1. Technique: Use gentle strokes to massage the muscles of the forearm, focusing on the extensor muscles. Apply moderate pressure with your fingers or thumb in a circular motion.

  2. Benefits: Massage can help improve blood circulation, reduce muscle tension, and alleviate pain associated with tennis elbow.

2. Myofascial Release:

  1. Technique: Apply sustained pressure on trigger points and tight areas in the forearm and upper arm using your fingers or a massage tool. Gradually release the pressure as the tissues begin to relax.

  2. Benefits: Myofascial release helps release tension in the fascia, promoting flexibility and reducing discomfort.


If you're a visual learner, here is a very concise video on 3 Steps to Fixing Tennis Elbow


3. Wrist Flexor Stretch:

  1. Technique: Gently extend your affected arm, palm facing down. Use your opposite hand to apply gentle pressure to bend the wrist, bringing the fingers towards the inner part of your forearm.

  2. Benefits: This stretch targets the wrist flexor muscles, which may contribute to tennis elbow. Hold for 15-30 seconds and repeat several times.

4. Wrist Extensor Stretch:

  1. Technique: Extend your affected arm, palm facing up. Use your opposite hand to apply gentle pressure to bend the wrist, bringing the fingers towards the outer part of your forearm.

  2. Benefits: This stretch targets the wrist extensor muscles, helping to improve flexibility and reduce tension. Hold for 15-30 seconds and repeat.

5. Active Release Technique (ART):

  1. Technique: Engage in active movements while applying pressure to specific areas of the forearm. For example, flex and extend the wrist while using your thumb or fingers to release tension points.

  2. Benefits: ART can help break up adhesions and scar tissue, promoting better muscle function and reducing pain.

6. Eccentric Strengthening Exercises:

  1. Technique: Include eccentric exercises, such as reverse wrist curls, to strengthen the forearm muscles. Use light weights and focus on controlled movements.

  2. Benefits: Eccentric exercises can improve muscle strength and function, supporting the recovery of tennis elbow.

Always start with gentle techniques and gradually increase intensity based on your comfort level. If you experience increased pain or discomfort, discontinue the exercises and consult with a healthcare professional. Additionally, seeking guidance from a qualified massage therapist or Physical Therapist for personalized advice and treatment is recommended.

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