Pain in the elbow is often described with descriptive sports language like “tennis elbow” (outer elbow pain) or “golfer’s elbow” (inner elbow pain). These sports related terms were coined because athletes and participants in these sports often utilized the elbow joints more often than the average person leading to overuse injuries. These popular sports can often cause hyperextension of the joints leading to pain.
You don’t have to play tennis to get tennis elbow however, tendonitis in the elbow can be caused by almost any repetitive motion. In fact, since the increase of computer desk jobs a new repetitive motion injury name has been coined, “mouse elbow.” Mouse elbow is pain in the elbow joint from the repetitive motion of using a computer mouse for hours every day at a desk job.
It is less common than other joints -- like knees and wrists -- to have arthritis in the elbow, but it is possible. If a repetitive motion injury seems unlikely for you, it could be you have developed arthritis in the elbow. Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise regimen to prevent further injury to a joint. There is always a possibility that a fracture or sprain is causing the pain in the elbow.
No matter where your elbow pain stems from, you can help alleviate the discomfort with stretching and strength building exercises; as always, be sure to combine these exercises with our Elbow Sleeve.
5 Exercises to Ease Pain in the Elbow
To perform this exercise you will need a towel or a tennis ball and a flat surface like a table, chair, or exercise bench. If you are using a towel, roll up the towel into a tube that is small enough to fit in your hand. The easiest way to perform this is to sit at a table, but it can be modified to wherever you are.
Sitting facing the table, place your forearm flat against the top of the table with your palm facing up. Put the towel or tennis ball into your hand and squeeze for 10 seconds. Release and repeat 10 times. Switch to the other arm and repeat the sequence.
Similar to the first exercise, place your forearm flat on a table with your arm bent. What’s different this time is that you will want your hand to be off of the edge of the table so you can fully move your wrist. You can also perform this exercise sitting and resting your bent elbow on your knee.
For a wrist extension, place the forearm and palm facing down. Grip the soup can or dumbbell and curl your hand downwards and towards the body. If this is too difficult or painful, you can also perform this motion with no weight.
For a wrist flexion, start with the forearm and palm facing up. With the can or dumbbell in hand, curl the wrist upwards and towards the body. Again, this can be performed without the weight if it is too difficult. You can always work your way towards using weight.
Perform both wrist extension and wrist flexion 10 to 20 times each on both arms.
You can use a soup can or a small 2 pound dumbbell. Grab hold of the can or dumbbell at the end of it, rather than around the middle. Sit in a chair with your elbow resting comfortably on your knee and the palm holding the can or dumbbell vertically towards the ceiling. Without picking up your elbow, turn your wrist so the palm is facing downwards. If you find yourself unable to grip the weight, try this motion without weight first. Move the palm back and forth in this motion 20 times then repeat on the other arm.
If you feel your shoulders start to creep up towards your ears, concentrate on squeezing the shoulder blades together on your back. This should keep the shoulders down and avoid any strain in the neck or top of the shoulders.If you feel your shoulders start to creep up towards your ears, concentrate on squeezing the shoulder blades together on your back. This should keep the shoulders down and avoid any strain in the neck or top of the shoulders.
Don't forget to combine the above exercises with our Elbow Compression Sleeve!