Tennis Elbow

Safe, Effective Treatment for Tennis Elbow Pain

Tennis Elbow To Ease Pain at Home

Tennis Elbow

To ensure that this program is safe and effective for you, it should be performed under your doctor’s supervision. Talk to your doctor or physical therapist about which exercises will best help you meet your rehabilitation goals.

Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) and golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis) are painful conditions caused by overuse. Over time, the forearm muscles and tendons become damaged from repeating the same motions again and again. This leads to pain and tenderness around the elbow.

Specific exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles attached to the injured tendon will help with the healing process. The early goal of a therapeutic exercise program is to promote muscle endurance and improve resistance to repetitive stress. Following a well-structured program will help you return to daily activities, as well as sports and other recreational pastimes.

Purpose of Program  
Specific exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles attached to the injured tendon will help with the healing
process. The early goal of a therapeutic exercise program is to promote muscle endurance and improve resistance to
repetitive stress.

Following a well-structured conditioning program will help you return to daily activities, as well as sports and other
recreational pastimes.

Length of program: 

This exercise program for epicondylitis should be continued for 6 to 12 weeks, unless otherwise
specified by your doctor or physical therapist. After your recovery, your doctor or physical therapist can instruct you in
how these exercises can be continued as a maintenance program for lifelong protection and health of your elbows.


Do not ignore pain: You should not feel pain during an exercise, however, some degree of discomfort is normal. Talk to
your doctor or physical therapist if you have any pain while completing this program.


Ask questions: If you are not sure how to do an exercise, or how often to do it, contact your doctor or physical
therapist. 

1. Wrist Extension Stretch

Equipment needed: None

Repetitions:  5 reps,
4x a day
Days Per Week: 5 to 7

Step-by-step directions

  •  Straighten your arm and bend your wrist back as if signaling someone to “stop.” 
  •  Use your opposite hand to apply gentle pressure across the palm and pull it toward you until you feel a stretch on the inside of your forearm. 
  • Hold the stretch for 15 seconds. 
  • Repeat 5 times, then perform this stretch on the other arm.

Tip Do not lock your elbow.

 

Wrist Extension Stretch

2. Wrist Flexion Stretch

Equipment needed: None

Repetitions:  5 reps,
4x a day

Days Per Week: 5 to 7

Step-by-step directions

Straighten your arm with your palm facing down and bend your wrist so that your fingers point down.
• Gently pull your hand toward your body until you feel a stretch on the
outside of your forearm.
• Hold the stretch for 15 seconds.
• Repeat 5 times, then perform this stretch on the other arm.

Tip Do not lock your elbow.

Additional instructions: This stretch should be done throughout the day, especially before activity.
After recovery, this stretch should be included as part of a warm-up to activities that involve gripping, such as gardening, tennis, and golf.

2. Wrist Flexion Stretch

3. Wrist Extension (Strengthening)

Equipment needed: Dumbbell hand weights (1 lb., 2 lbs., 3 lbs.)
Additional instructions: This exercise should be performed in stages. Begin each stage with no weight. When you are able to complete 30 repetitions on 2 consecutive days with no increase in
pain, move forward in the program by increasing weight (begin with 1lb., advance to 2 lbs., end
with 3 lbs.).

Repetitions: 30 reps,
1x a day

Days Per Week: 5 to 7

Stage 1: Bend your elbow to 90 degrees and support your forearm
on a table with your wrist placed at the edge.
Stage 2: Straighten your elbow slightly. Continue to support your
arm on the table.
Stage 3: Fully straighten your elbow and lift your arm so that it is
no longer supported by the table.

Step-by-step directions to be followed for each stage
With palm down, bend your wrist up as far as possible.
• Hold up for 1 count, then slowly lower 3 counts.
• Begin without using a weight and increase the repetitions until you
can complete 30.
• When you can perform 30 repetitions on 2 consecutive days
without increasing pain, begin performing the exercise using a 1 lb.
weight.
• Follow the same steps above to continue to increase repetitions
and weight until you are using a 3 lb. weight and can perform
30 repetitions on 2 consecutive days without increasing pain.

Tennis Elbow Stretch

Tip Do not let the weight pull your hand down too quickly.

4. Wrist Flexion (Strengthening)

Equipment needed: Dumbbell hand weights (1 lb., 2 lbs., 3 lbs.)
Additional instructions: This exercise should be performed in stages. Begin each stage with no
weight. When you are able to complete 30 repetitions on 2 consecutive days with no increase in
pain, move forward in the program by increasing weight (begin with 1lb., advance to 2 lbs., end
with 3 lbs.)

Repetitions: 30 reps,
1x a day

Days Per Week: 5 to 7

Stage 1: Bend your elbow to 90 degrees and support your forearm
on a table with your wrist placed at the edge.
Stage 2: Straighten your elbow slightly. Continue to support your
arm on the table.
Stage 3: Fully straighten your elbow and lift your arm so that it is
no longer supported by the table.

Step-by-step directions to be followed for each stage
• With palm up, bend your wrist up as far as possible.
• Hold up for 1 count, then slowly lower 3 counts.
• Begin without using a weight and increase the repetitions until you
can complete 30.
• When you can perform 30 repetitions on 2 consecutive days
without increasing pain, begin performing the exercise using a 1 lb.
weight.
• Follow the same steps above to continue to increase repetitions
and weight until you are using a 3 lb. weight and can perform
30 repetitions on 2 consecutive days without increasing pain

 Wrist Flexion (Strengthening)

Tip Do not let the weight pull your hand down too quickly.

5. Forearm Supination & Pronation (Strengthening)

Equipment needed: Dumbbell hand weights (1 lb., 2 lbs., 3 lbs.)
Additional instructions: This exercise should be performed in stages. Begin each stage with no
weight. When you are able to complete 30 repetitions on 2 consecutive days with no increase in
pain, move forward in the program by increasing weight (begin with 1lb., advance to 2 lbs., end
with 3 lbs.)

Repetitions: 30 reps,
1x a day

Days Per Week: 5 to 7

Stage 1: Bend your elbow to 90 degrees and support your forearm
on a table with your wrist placed at the edge.
Stage 2: Straighten your elbow slightly. Continue to support your
arm on the table.
Stage 3: Fully straighten your elbow and lift your arm so that it is
no longer supported by the table.

Step-by-step directions to be followed for each stage
Begin with palm facing the side. Slowly turn the palm facing up.
• Slowly return to the start position, then slowly turn the palm
down.
• Slowly return to start position. This completes one repetition.
• Begin without using a weight and increase the repetitions until you
can complete 30.
• When you can perform 30 repetitions on 2 consecutive days
without increasing pain, begin performing the exercise using a 1 lb.
weight.
• Follow the same steps above to continue to increase repetitions
and weight until you are using a 3 lb. weight and can perform
30 repetitions on 2 consecutive days without increasing pain.

Forearm Supination & Pronation (Strengthening)

Tip When using a dumbbell, try to let the weight pull your forearm in either direction as far as possible

6. Stress Ball Squeeze

Equipment needed: Rubber stress ball
Additional instructions: This exercise should be performed after completing the above staged strengthening
exercises. Your arm and elbow position for this exercise
should match the stage you are completing.

Repetitions: 10 reps,
1x a day

Days Per Week: 5 to 7

Tip When using a dumbbell, try to let the weight pull your forearm in either direction as far as possible

Stress Ball Squeeze

7. Finger Stretch

Equipment needed: Elastic band


Additional instructions: This exercise should be performed after completing the above staged strengthening exercises. Your arm and elbow position for this exercise should match the stage you are completing.

Repetitions: 10 reps,
1x a day

Days Per Week: 5 to 7

Tip When using a dumbbell, try to let the weight pull your forearm in either direction as far as possible

Finger Stretch