Helping with pre and post-surgery rehabilitation, relieving pain and improving mobility post injuries are some of the many benefits of physical therapy. Tennis elbow, also known as tendonitis, a rather common injury can be very painful. Physical therapy can be beneficial for helping with this problem.
What is Tennis Elbow?
Even though it is called tennis elbow, this problem affects anyone involved with repeated moving of the arms and wrists. The problem is caused by inflammation of the forearm muscle. Any prolonged and repeated activity that uses the joints and muscles of the arm can cause this problem. The symptoms include pain on the outer side of the elbow and can radiate to the forearm and wrist.
How can Physical Therapy Help?
Post identifying the cause of the injury, the physical therapist would recommend specific exercises to help work your joints more efficiently and thus take the strain off them. Exercises aimed to improve blood flow to the tendons, stretching the muscles, and strengthening the muscles may also be a part of the physical therapy. Other interventions could involve massages with ice or essential oils to reduce inflammation and/or using braces or straps for support till the elbow heals.
Exercises for Tennis Elbow
Depending on the severity of the problem, the physical therapist will make an exercise plan specific to you. While you could check out the entire range of physical therapy and wellness at Therapydia, here are a few exercises that will help relieve the pain.
Extension of the wrist – Sit on a chair holding a light dumbbell in your injured hand. Rest your arm on your elbow, wrist extended and facing downwards. Slowly curl your wrist down and then back up again. Repeat the movement ten times.
Twisting the towel – While sitting on a chair, hold a towel with both your hands and wring it clockwise. Repeat these ten times and then wring it anti-clockwise ten times.
Stretch the fingers – Touch your thumb to your fingers and place a rubber band around them. Gently open and close your fingers and thumb, repeating it ten times.
Squeeze the ball – Place a softball in your palms and alternate between squeezing and releasing your fist. Repeat ten times.
Relief from Pain
While it is recommended that you see a physical therapist at the earliest, here are a few tips to help ease the pain till then. Gently massaging the forearm muscles can provide relief from the pain as this will help increase the blood flow to the area. Use an ice pack on the area to get relief from the pain. While these may help in the immediate present, it is better to visit a physical therapy center and get a specific exercise plan for long term benefits. Another way to treat elbow pain is by using an ice therapy machine.
Time Frame to Recover from Tennis Elbow
How long it takes you to recover from tennis elbow will depend on the severity of the problem, the kind of treatment, your age and physical condition and the amount of rest you can provide to the arm.
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