How to deal with Tennis Elbow (lateral epicondylitis)

Posted: April 7, 2014 in fitness
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Obviously I’m not doctor, but I have (recently) experienced the nasty weight-lifting-induced pain on the outer elbow that is often called “tennis elbow”. I had previously had a shoulder injury, but this was my first time dealing with an elbow injury. Interestingly, I had actually recently worked on strengthening my forearms — I can’t say at the moment if that helped speed my recovery or caused the issue in the first place, but what I can do is give you the steps I followed to get myself back to the point where I could hit the iron again.

Just like the first step different “rehab” programs Accetance is huge. In my case it began as a slight discomfort which I ignored until it was too late. Hopefully you don’t make the same mistake, and take action immediately.

Once you have determined something is wrong you need to look at what NOT to do as well as what TO do.

What to NOT Do:

1. Don’t train upper body as heavy or as frequently
In fact this is a good time to ramp up your leg training. I took two weeks off of upper body training, then when I returned to training upper body for the first week I focussed on movements that did not involve moving the elbow joint (straight-arm pull downs, lateral raises, dumbbell flyes etc).

2. Avoid foods that cause inflammation

These include: dairy, fried food, sugar, alcohol, gluten

What TO do

1. Stretch forearms

Multiple times I day I would extend and flex my forearms and hold for 20-30 seconds.

2. Slowly incorporate elbow function into training

Once you begin incorporating more elbow-involving movements I’ve found it beneficial to slow down the negative portion of the rep to 5-6 seconds. This allows you to keep in control of the movement and not aggravate it further, while also allowing for a good training stimulus.

3. take inflammation-reducing foods and supplements

These include: tart cherry juice, fish oil, berries, vegetables, garlic.

I have also found that joint supplements help, especially those that include boswellia.

4. external assistance

By using a transdermal anti-inflammation cream as well, an elbow wrap as an ice pack daily, I found the healing seemed to speed up.

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