There are many wise sayings that are apt where tennis elbow is concerned. Perhaps the two most appropriate are “prevention is better than cure” and ”don’t ignore the pain.”
This week we look at prevention.
With such a large percentage of tennis players and such a large number of occupations/recreations that can cause tennis elbow, prevention must not be an easy thing. However there are some simple steps to reduce your risks.
- Avoid repetitive movements. Where possible change or alternate activities.
- Ensure that you are in the right shape-fitness wise and with the right preparation if you are in a high risk group of suffering from tennis elbow. This would include in having:
- Good general fitness.
- Stretching and strengthening the appropriate muscles and joints in the elbow, forearm, wrist and fingers.
- Strengthening muscles around the neck, trunk, shoulder and scapula to unload the elbow and lower arm.
- Allow time for general fitness and strengthening to occur.
- Use the right equipment.
- Is the racquet, hammer or electric drill too big or heavy for you to use therefore causing your arm muscles to work too hard?
- Does the racquet or equipment have the right cushioning effect to reduce the jarring or vibrational effect that can create tennis elbow?
- Is the ergonomics of your work station creating extra muscle work?All of these factors need to be considered in preventing tennis elbow.
- Use the right technique.
- See your Physiotherapist for the correct biomechanical technique.
- See your Sports coach, Work place ergonomist, senior colleague for general technique.
- If you are someone who over grips then you need to think of light hands.
- When you lift ensure that your palms are facing up, not down.
- Finally create a warm up and stretching routine .This will be discussed further next blog.