7 Best Tennis Elbow Pain Relief Treatments (Lateral Epicondylitis) – Ask Doctor Jo

Hey everybody it's Doctor Jo, and today
I'm going to show you my top seven treatments for tennis elbow. so let's get
started. So tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, is when this outer side of the elbow gets
irritated usually because of those wrist extensor muscles. so the first thing you
want to do is just kind of warm up those muscles. so an easy way to do that is
just take your arm, you can either put it straight out or bent, bent is going to
be a little more comfortable, so if you're really irritated you probably
want to start bent, if you're not quite as irritated, you can go straight out.
just make a fist with your hand and then at your wrist just go down and then come
back up. so this is really just an active range of motion movement, just warming up
those muscles, so not necessarily a stretch yet ,but just getting these
muscles kind of warm and ready to be stretched.

So you don't really have to
pause and wait, you can do maybe a three-second hold if you want to, but
you're really just going back and forth right now. so just up and down and really
get some movement in there. I just do maybe five each way a total of ten, again
you're just trying to get these muscles going. so after you get that done and you
can feel that those muscles are starting to work a little bit, they're a little
bit warm, then you can go into a stretch. so to stretch these wrist extensors and
I say wrist extensors and pointing up here because the muscles that extend
that wrist come all the way up and attached to that epicondyle, so that's
why you have that itis at the elbow, but it's really a lot of that wrist movement,
so to stretch those out, again you want to start off maybe not so strong with
the stretch and then you can progress to something a little bit stronger.

So this
time you want your arm to be straight, you want that elbow to be locked out
because that's what's really going to stretch those muscles. to start off keep
your fingers straight, this is going to be not quite as much of a stretch but at
your wrists go down and you should feel that stretch all the way along
the outside here.

If you want a little bit more of a stretch, you can take your
other hand and push down this way. some people turn it in just a little bit you
can do that as well and that just kind of changes the position a little bit, but
since this is a stretch you want to hold it for 30 seconds and then you can take
a little break. if that's not quite enough stretch for you then when you go
back down curl your fingers into a fist and that's gonna give you even more of a
stretch because those extensors go all the way down in the fingers, so if you
curl your fingers that gives you even more of a stretch, and then again you can
push through on it here to get that nice stretch on the outside. so again this is
a 30 second hold and you want to do that a total of 3 times. so then taking a
little break shake it out give yourself about a 10 to 15 second break in between
just to let those muscles reset a little bit and then go into that stretch again.
if you're standing up doing it, if you're near a wall or if you're at a computer
may be in a cubicle or something, you can push this into a wall instead of using
your hand, if this is a little uncomfortable to reach around, you can
just push it into a wall and get that extra stretch, but if that's too much
again fingers down not quite as much fingers curled just a little bit more ,so
30 seconds three of those.

So number three
Simien sent us some elbow support braces these are really great for that
epicondylitis because what they do as you can see here is it has some little
pressure spots that you put on the muscle belly to take the pressure off of
the epicondyle or the outer elbow there, and so they work really great it comes
with two which is awesome and it also comes with a large strap and a small
strap depending on the width of your elbow, and it also comes with a really
cool sweat band. I am probably more of a small for mine, so I'll put this one on
and so what you want to do the rule of thumb, and I say rule of thumb with a pun
there, is you want to take your thumb and kind of put right at your
here because this blue spot wants to actually be on the muscle belly, so it's
not up at that condyle, you want to come down.

So if you're pushing you want to
actually feel muscle you don't want to be on the bone here, so I like the rule
of thumb of putting your thumb there and then the brace starts after the thumb, so
I'll just kind of show you here I'm gonna put this on, so if I bring it up
here what I want it to be is not up at the elbow, but down a little bit so a
thumb in between and that blue spot underneath right on that belly and then
you're gonna tighten it up. you want it to be pretty pretty tight in there, not
so much where it's cutting off circulation, but see it's not right at
the elbow, I can still bend and move very easily
it's right on that belly, and again what that does is it puts pressure here to
take pressure off of that elbow to get rid of that inflammation, so it does a
really good job.

People can usually feel immediate relief when they have it on, so
again make sure it's not so tight that is cutting off circulation, make sure
your fingers don't get cold when it's on there, but you want some nice pressure on
there and you can use this throughout the day. I wouldn't say sleep with it or
anything like that, but if you know you're going to be doing a lot of
repetitive activities using the brace is really really great for this, and so it's
nice, it's very comfortable, it's is you know not scratchy or anything, and I
really like how it's adjustable so you can have the large strap you can have
the small strap, and you can even change with the straps how much tightness you
want to in there, so that's really cool as well.

So if you're interested in
purchasing the brace you can click up here. so the next exercise is going to be
a strengthening exercise, so this time use maybe just like a soup can or a
vegetable can, you don't want to start off with anything too heavy because this
is an itis which means inflammation and if you do too much weight too quickly,
you're going to get just more inflammation, so soup vegetable cans are
usually just about a pound, and that's really what you want to start with. you
can place your arm on a table or something to support and have your wrist
hanging off so you have movement or if you're comfortable, and
you can just kind of hold your elbow up in the air, but make sure that your
elbows bent this time so you don't want it straight out, you want it nice and
bent and comfortable so with your palm facing down towards the floor, just at
your wrist, you're gonna go down nice and slow and then back up nice and slow.

this is just kind of a continuous motion, but you want to get as far of that range
of motion that you can. so not just here but going all the way down as far as you
can and all the way up as far as you comfortably can. so just making sure that
it's smooth and controlled that you're controlling it that you're not just
dropping it back down, but really just getting those muscles to activate and
start strengthening a little bit, so when you're doing these I would just start
off with about ten the first time maybe two sets of ten, if that's pretty easy
and you're not super sore the next day, then you can start pumping up a set so
three sets of ten, two sets of fifteen.

If you get to 20-25 and it's really easy,
then you can go up to a heavier weight. another product that Simien sent us is
their armbar. so this is really really cool because what it does is it helps
you get some eccentric exercises which is really really important in helping
muscles heal, and you can also do some stability type of exercises with it as
well. I really like this because it comes with a couple different bars that you
can put it in the main bar to make it more resistance or less resistance, so
this is really really coo.l I would always start off with the lightest just
because again you don't want to irritate it anymore but this is so cool because
you can do a whole bunch of different things with it.

So it's a nice additional
equipment to have. so what we're gonna do first is that eccentric kind of exercise
for those wrist extensors, so this movement is a little weird. what you want
to do is start off with the hand you want to exercise, hold the bar straight
up and down, put your wrist into an extension kind of position. so that's
going out this way or up this way, so you have that extension motion then you want
to come around with the other hand. so this one
should feel pretty good this arm should feel pretty good, so you can kind of
really get around the top because the more you twist it, the more exercise
you're going to get on the bottom one so come up here, and then you're gonna twist
this one forward into a wrist flexion so grab it around as far as you can, and
twist forward while the bottom one's still extended, and then straighten out
your arms.

So you can see here that it's in that twisted motion and then as you
hold it here you're just gonna slowly and control take that left hand that's twisted
and slowly go up that way. so you can see then I'm coming back down and I'm
eccentrically, which is controlling it back into that motion, that that exercise
for those muscles and this is a really good one.
but the eccentric motion is really really easy to fatigue quickly, it's a
harder motion to do, so you don't want to overdo these. some protocols say 3 times
15, I wouldn't start with that, I would start which is 3 times 5 and see
how you feel because again it's a lot of exercise on that muscle even though
while you're doing it it might not feel like it. so I'm going to go through the
whole motion again so you can see it.

So wrist extension, come up on top, wrist
flexion, twist, straighten out your arms, and slowly then
go into that wrist flexion with your hands. so it's almost just like you're
doing this motion but you'll really feel as you come through that is working that
top muscle, so that's a really really great exercise to do. what I also like
about the armbar is you can see that it's twisty and bendy, so another great
exercise is some stability for the muscles.

This exercise that I'm about to
do makes these muscles really contract and hold that stability, and it's kind of
hard to get it down in the beginning but it's a really great exercise and again it's working those muscles. these are small muscles, so you don't want to do a
whole lot, but you can definitely feel it while you're doing it. so this time you
want to you want to keep that elbow bent the whole time pretty close to your side. you don't have to stick it to your side, but keep
it pretty close. hold the bottom part of the armbar so you have a lot of space up

Now this this is the hard part, you really want to kind of keep your arm in
one spot and move at your wrist so it's not this kind of motion, but it's really
this motion. so if you can watch right here watch how these muscles really
activate. you know my biceps do, my wrist extensors do, and they really are just
contracting to control my arm from going back and forth.

So this is a really great
movement and I like it, and so I would just start off again maybe five or 10
seconds, and then take a break. you can also go side to side with it which is a
little bit harder, you can turn it down and go this way, or you can go back and
forth this way to get a little pronation supination. so again really try and keep
that elbow and that whole arm pretty still. it's not doing this back and forth
it's just wiggling it back and forth, which again is really really cool and
it's just working that whole arm, elbow, and wrist.

So you're getting that whole
arm workout, so again really try and keep everything stable here let that top part
wiggle but it's not moving the whole arm, and you're you're really gonna feel it.
so again don't do a whole lot the first time, just do a little bit and see how
you feel the next day, and if you feel good then you can add some more on to it.
and if you're interested in purchasing the armbar make sure you click up here.
so the last treatment is going to be a soft tissue mobilization right here at
that epicondyle, right where that irritation usually is. so soft tissue
mobilization or some people call it massage, is just really getting those
tissues moving around.

If there's scar tissue in there, you're moving it around
to break it up, so it's not necessarily a massage I think people think you know
rubbing on it kind of like that sometimes that makes it feel better,
but what soft tissue mobilization is, is you're really moving that tissue around.
so you're not rubbing it, but you're taking that surface of skin and moving
it back and forth, so if you can see the difference I'm not just
rubbing, I'm actually taking those tissues and mobilizing them, so if you've
got some irritation in here a lot of times when you do this
you're gonna feel some little pops going on in there some some popping noises, you
might feel it, you might even hear it and that's usually just the scar tissue
breaking up or those adhesions breaking up.

That's very normal as long as it
might be just a little painful when you first do it and then it goes away,
that's completely fine, but if it's hurting and it's not going away,
you're probably pushing too hard. you want to be firm, but again if you've got
irritation in there if you're pushing too hard, it's just gonna flare it up
even more, so you can start off with circles just kind of moving around in
that area, you can go side to side in that area just kind of up and down, and
you can also go up and down along the muscle fibers there.

If you want to use a
cream or a lotion to not have quite as much friction you can, but again once you
get that cream on there make sure you're still moving the skin that it doesn't
become just that you're kind of massaging the area which is fine, but
this mobilization is what you really want. you're just moving that tissue to
break up those adhesions in there and usually it gets a little red after
you're done doing that, but that's good that's just bringing that blood and
circulation to the area to help keep that inflammation out. so just start off
with about two to three minutes it doesn't have to be a super long time,
again if you do too much it's going to get irritated, but it should feel pretty
good and kind of loose and everything back up after that. so there you have it.
if you have any questions, leave them in the comment section.

if you're interested
in purchasing any of those products, make sure you click up here, and don't forget
to subscribe by clicking down here. and remember be safe (don't hit anybody), have fun, and I hope you feel better soon..

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