Within the last few weeks I’ve had quite a number of clients who came in complaining about tennis elbow. With that being said, that is why it is going to be todays blog topic. Lateral epicondylitis is the medical term for what people often refer to as tennis elbow. This usually result from having really hypertonic, or in other words tight wrist extensors. Wrist extensors are the muscles on the posterior side of your forearm. There are about five different forearm muscles that attach to the lateral epicondyle of the humerus. Most cases of lateral epicondylitis often occur from people who play an excessive amount of racket sports; That is why you hear it being referred to as tennis elbow.
You may still get tennis elbow even if you never played a racket sport in your life. This makes sense because you can get tight wrist extensors from a majority of other daily activities. Now as much as a desk job may not seem like the fun way to get an overuse injury, it often can result in one. If your job consists of being on a computer and taking notes via keyboard or by hand, then this may also occur to you. Each time you press a finger down to push a key, you are activating muscles that run through the wrist and forearm. Often people are kept in this position for an extended period of time throughout the day. The forearm muscles are getting used constantly, which is also accompanied by the elbows being flexed forward. This can cause the tendons of the forearm/wrist extensors to get tight and taunt. When this happens the tendons then can cause a pulling action to create a painful sensation at the elbow. This often can lead to tension moving up into the shoulder and neck.
I would recommend To take 2-3 minute breaks every once in a while to rotate your wrist around in circular motions. Then texted the arm out in front of you, face the palm of the hand toward the floor and press the top of the hand downward, so the fingers are pointing to the ground. This will stretch out the wrist extensors. It probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to stretch out the wrist flexors while you have your hand out. Just rotate the wrist so the palm is facing upwards, and then press fingers to ground. This should help keep your elbow and rest from getting to tense. It would probably be a good idea to stretch out the chest, esp the pec minor muscle. This one is easy to do, as all you need to is to link your fingers behind your back and pull downwards.
It is important to keep mobile throughout the day. Simple exercises like the wrist rolls etc, I listed above are easy ways to prevent your joints and muscles from stiffening up throughout the day. Make sure to stay hydrated as well, as this helps keep the blood circulating throughout the body more sufficiently.
I hope this helps!
Amanda Jackman; R.M.T.