Now that the weather is finally warm and sunny, it is the perfect time to get active and spend time outdoors! It is prime-time for outdoor activities like playing tennis, fishing, or golfing. Despite being fun, these activities can lead to overuse injuries and increase the risk of lateral epicondylitis, commonly referred to as tennis elbow. Since these activities require repetitive gripping and motions at the elbow, they may put you at increased risk. In our PTtip video, Dr. Alex Tan, PT, DPT demonstrates three strengthening exercises that you can perform to help prevent and treat lateral elbow pain:
Wrist Extensor Strengthening Exercises
- Raise your arm straight out in front of you with your palm facing down.
- Let your wrist flex down toward the floor.
- Use your opposite hand to gently press on the top of your hand to push your wrist into more flexion.
- Once you feel a pull across the top of your forearm, hold for about 30 seconds.
- Repeat for 3 repetitions.
Wrist Pronation/Supination Strengthening Exercises
- While seated with simply your forearm resting on a table and your wrist off the edge, securely hold either a hammer, as Dr. Tan demonstrates, or a lighter dumbbell by its end.
- Slowly rotate your hand back and forth in a nice controlled, arc of motion, while making sure to not ‘flop’ down to one side.
- Once you reach the end of the arc, hold this position for 2-3 seconds.
- Reverse the direction and repeat for about 20 repetitions in each direction.
Eccentric Wrist Extension Strengthening Exercises With a Theraband FlexBar
- Raise your arm, on your affected side, straight out in front of you holding a Theraband FlexBar in your hand.
- Holding the FlexBar, gently extend your wrist backwards as far as it can go.
- Using your other hand, grab the other end of the bar and twist the bar by flexing it as far as you can.
- Slowly bring the bar in front of you, so that is it parallel to the floor.
- Slowly let the affected side wrist flex downward toward the floor, taking at least 3 seconds.
- Return to the starting position and perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
Not only is the summer a great time for outdoor activities, it is also a time when many celebrations, cookouts, or picnics take place. If you are in charge of bringing a dish and are looking for something that’s easy-to-make, nutrient dense, AND flavorful, there are plenty of options with the abundance of summer fruits and vegetables that are now in season! A simple dish to consider is a homemade veggie dip made with plain Greek yogurt, your favorite spices, and a dash of sea salt and pepper. Pair it with fresh sliced veggies, such as in-season cucumbers, summer squash, cherry tomatoes, and sugar snap peas, and you are all set to bring a healthy dish full of nutrients!
An even easier idea for a healthy dish to bring is a fresh cut fruit salad. To make it entertaining, try cutting your favorite in-season fruits like watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew into fun shapes with a cookie cutter. Bringing a fruit salad made into unique shapes like stars, hearts, or flowers, for example, is a great way to bring something entertaining while keeping it simple AND healthy!
Make sure you watch the PTtip video to learn how to properly perform the above exercises, and if you have any questions or would like to make an appointment with one of our physical therapists, give us a call today at 1-855-PT-FIRST!
*As a reminder, always discuss any questions or concerns with your physician regarding your own health and dietary needs, as the information written should not replace any medical advice.