If you're watching these video is maybe because you have Tennis Elbow otherwise known as lateral epicondylitis... or maybe you know someone that suffers from it. It is fairly common and today I 'd like to show you some exercises and gentle mobilization I give my patients to work on at home in order to treat themself.
So the first thing involved with lateral epicondylitis is generally some tension in the radial nerve. I would like to show you is how to mobilize your radial nerve. In standing like this, the first thing I do is on the involved side, which let's say my right elbow is involved. Turning your arm in, lifting your pinky up and bringing your arm out in a little bit back and immediately returning. You're going to stay within the range of motion and where you feel the pull in your arm. Not trying to go too much into the pain if it's painful at the end of the range. And basically just oscillating like this for 30 seconds.
So you might have some variability from day to day on how far you can stretch...A progression from just doing this is adding head movements. So you can do sliders and tensioners, which is what we call them. So with your heads tilting your head to the some side like this, and again, just keep moving your arm... You don't really hold it there...... like that as well as tipping your head to the other side ...and do this for.... Yeah, about 30 seconds. You can do it to several time during the day, especially when you have elbow pain... as well as if you have other symptoms of tingling in your hands.... Let me show you the next one.
The second exercise is how to mobilize your radial head. So your radius starts here and runs all the way down your foream. It's a little bit lower than where the pain will be in the lateral epicondyle. That's where most of your pain is going to be going to be. If you go just like two finger breaths lower, you're going to be able to grab the head of that bone that's right here. Let's say this is the back and the front what I'm gonna have you do is u grab the head like this and go from front to back just like this and just oscillate. Gently work on this for 20 seconds. Depending on the tenderness of the area, this might work more or less, or you might tolerate it more, more or less because of the tenderness. So, um, this would be probably be a little bit later stage... Just go back and forth like this.
And you can do several sets. You can do just when you watch TV.
The other one I want to show you is what we called external rotation of the ulna, which is the main forearm bone like this. So for this one, uh, and especially if you have pain with flexing and extending your elbow, which you tend to do with lateral epicondylitis.
And actually with other elbow problems.
So you're going to come at the base here and follow the line of your ulna. Now with your fingers, you're gonna come right on the edge and what you're going to do, you're going to turn and twist your forearm a little bit more towards the outside and then you're going to maintain that twist as you move your arm up and down like this and very often that relieves quite a bit of pain and that tends to be from pressure relieved from that area just because sometimes the bone tends to get stuck. So just that this, so give that a try and let me show you the last one
I'd like to show you is an actual mobilization mobilization with movements. So you want to find a wall, with an angle like this... I think that would work better. Or at the end of a wall.... you're going to place a towel right underneath your arm, underneath your humerus there. And that's going to allow you to put ... lean into the wall and put some weights in. And what that is going to do is it going to do is half of that mobilization by moving your humerus this way...while with your other hand, you're going to come here right below your elbow and you're going to push outward the opposite way and.... you're going to hold this at the same time open and close your hand .....like this, about 20 times. What should happen is that the pain diminishes as you go....
You might have to do several sets in order for this to work, but as, as you go, the pain should diminishe... So don't forget that point.
And if that doesn't work, what I would do is just maybe try with a little bit of oscillation at first..... Just like that.
So these were four different things you can do when you have tennis elbow or lateral elbow pain. And that's the first thing I would try to do on your own on top of icing, um, the outside of your elbow. Other things that are all going to help you is definitely the help of a manual physical therapists that can work on releasing all the tight tissue, generally around your elbow, both on the inside and the outside as well as along the pattern of your radial nerve, which is..., as I demonstrated earlier, a very important part of treating a tennis elbow. They will also assess manual physical therapists will also assess your arm as generally these are some, mechanical problems in the shoulder or/ and the neck as well , that are sometimes involved with tennis elbow.
I hope this was helpful.
Feel free to give me any comments.
Pierre-Yves Butheau, MPT, CMP has been a physiotherapist for 19 years and has a passion for helping people move better, return from and prevent injuries, as well as improve their function and quality of life. He has a strong interest in addressing the root cause of and treating neuro-musculoskeletal conditions while educating his patients with the knowledge to manage their conditions and prevent recurrence. Pierre also has a niche in treating Bell's palsy and temporomandibular joint dysfunctions.