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Tennis Elbow Exercises, Therapy and Rehabilitation

Sep 3, 2008
Nearly 90% of sufferers find relief of their tennis elbow symptoms without the need for invasive surgery. The key to a healthy recovery from tennis elbow is to take the necessary time away from the aggravating activity to give the area time to heal.

A common mistake of many tennis elbow patients face is returning to normal activity before the elbow tendons and soft tissue have had a chance to fully heal. Normally, first-time tennis elbow patients are ready to begin rehabilitation after about 6 weeks while chronic suffers may need 2 full months or more. Again, the key is not to rush jumping back into activity. The longer you give the area to heal, the better your chances of a full recovery with no relapses. Only after the area is healed can you start a program of exercises, therapy, and rehabilitation to strengthen the area before finally returning to normal activity.

When to begin Rehabilitation:

The key to successful rehabilitation is to begin exercises and therapy only after the area is free of pain throughout the entire normal range of motion. This process can take anywhere from 6 weeks to 2 months or more depending on your age and length of the condition (in other words, the longer treatment is postponed, the longer the recovery can take). Age can also be a factor, with older patients taking longer to get to the point where strengthening exercises can be reintroduced. The critical point is to wait until the area is pain-free throughout the entire range of motion.

Exercises, Therapy and Rehabilitation

Exercises and therapy to build elbow-stabilizing strength should begin in a slow and steady manner. At first, take every precaution to ensure the area is not reaggravated. Focus on proper technique and do not push too hard. The key is to build-up strength and flexibility slowly, and err on the side of a slow and steady recovery to minimize the risk of reinjuring the tendons and soft tissue of the elbow.

The rehabilitation period is a good time to reexamine your equipment and technique to minimize the risk of future problems. Schedule a lesson several weeks out to focus on improving your technique to minimize the risk of future injury or irritation to the elbow. Poor technique, and improper equipment choices, are common causes of tennis elbow. The rehabilitation period is a good time to examine these often overlooked aspects of your game.
About the Author
Dr. Julia Hohman is a board certified Sports Medicine and Family Practice physician. Dr. Hohman has just written Cure Tennis Elbow in 6 Weeks that gives you a step-by-step formula for getting tennis elbow pain under control once and for all.
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