Elbow Exercises For Faster Recovery

Tennis elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis, is a painful condition affecting the tendons and muscles in the elbow and arm. The condition is often caused by overuse or repetitive strain and can be treated through various methods, including physical therapy (PT) and surgery. If a patient has recently undergone surgery for tennis elbow, following a proper recovery plan that includes physical therapy exercises can ensure a complete and successful recovery.

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Can PT improve healing?

Physical therapy plays a crucial role in the recovery process following tennis elbow surgery. A physical therapist will work with the individual to create a personalized treatment plan, which may include a range of exercises to help rebuild strength and flexibility in the elbow and arm.

Wrist flexion and extension

The purpose of the exercise is to improve flexibility and range of motion (ROM) in the wrist. To perform wrist flexion, hold a lightweight dumbbell in hand with the palm facing down. Slowly bend the wrist towards the body, then straighten back out. To perform wrist extension, hold the dumbbell in hand with the palm facing up. Slowly bend the wrist away from the body, then straighten the wrist back out.

Forearm supination

The movement involving turning the hand and forearm to have the palm facing upward uses the supinator muscle. To perform forearm supination, an individual can hold a lightweight dumbbell or another object with the palm facing downward. The hand and forearm are then slowly rotated so the palm faces upward.

Fist clench

Strong grip strength is essential for many sports, including tennis or golf. To improve grip strength, try squeezing a hand gripper, a small ball, or a rolled-up towel with the forearm resting on a flat surface in front of the body. Squeeze the object for 10 seconds and repeat the process 10 times for each arm.

Towel twist

To perform the towel twist exercise, an individual will need a small towel or a piece of cloth. Hold the towel with both hands and twist the towel as tightly as possible in opposite directions, using the forearms to apply pressure. Hold the twisted position for a few seconds, then slowly release and return to the starting position.

Are there any precautions?

After tennis elbow surgery, precautions should be taken during physical therapy exercises for a full recovery. Start slow and gradually increase the difficulty of the exercise as the strength and endurance improve. Be aware of the body and stop immediately if pain or discomfort occurs. Before and after workouts, a warm-up and cool-down period can prevent injury.

Get back into action

The recovery process following tennis elbow surgery can be challenging, but with the help of PT and dedication to the rehabilitation program, a return to the game can be achieved. Patients should follow the physical therapist’s instructions and guidelines for the best results. With time and effort, a full recovery can be made.

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