Can you ease the pain from tennis elbow?

Have you suffered from tennis elbow? This advice from a personal trainer Lesley Maxwell may help ease the pain.

Melbourne based personal trainer Lesley Maxwell is here to answer reader questions. What would you like her to answer next?

Q. Dear Lesley, I have terrible knee pain in both knees due to wear and tear and tennis elbow in both elbows so kneeling on the floor is not an option and I am not sure if taking so much weight on my arms is going to aggravate my elbows. Any suggestions?

A. Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) is simply a symptom of poor forearm muscle strength plus tight muscles and having experienced this once myself I know is quite painful.

Surprisingly small repetitive movements such as squeezing a mouse numerous times a day or if your desk is at the wrong height so that your wrists are overextended as you’re typing can play havoc with your forearms - as was the case for me. Actually many sufferers of tennis elbow have never picked up a tennis racquet! Do you know what has been the cause of your tennis elbow and if it could be corrected? For example a good place to start is ensuring your desk is at the correct height.

I received great relief from some gentle stretching such as wrist flexor and wrist extension and applying a heat pack for a few minutes a day. I would suggest some forearm extensor exercises to strengthen your forearms using light weights (even your filled water bottle) with just a few reps to begin.

After you have strengthened your forearms and feel ready to begin exercising again, it's a mater of trying exercises such as 'standing push ups' against the wall and then progress to 'incline push ups'. Try using your kitchen bench. Keep in mind that exercises we do for our chest such as push ups strengthen our uppper body and core. They are also great for our triceps. Always 'listen' to your body and just perform one or two reps to begin. Please do not continue if you feel any pain. As for your knees being so sore it’s vitally important that you build some muscle in your legs to support your knees.

I would start with two bodyweight exercises ’ski squats’ plus ‘seated leg extension’ and you can do these at home. As your legs become stronger you can progress to half squats and build up from there. Please maintain perfect form and never let your knees track over your toes. it’s important to maintain (and add) muscle to your body as it’s beneficial to your health in so many ways. Please stay in touch and let me know how you go.

As for your knees being so sore it’s vitally important that you build some muscle in your legs to support your knees. I would start with two bodyweight exercises ’ski squats’ plus ‘seated leg extension’ and you can do these at home. As your legs become stronger you can progress to half squats and build up from there. Please maintain perfect form and never let your knees track over your toes. it’s important to maintain (and add) muscle to your body as it’s beneficial to your health in so many ways. Please stay in touch and let me know how you go.

The saying we are what we eat is true. My favourite food for improving joints and tendons is 'bone broth' as it naturally contains collagen which is great for forming tissue within the body. Think slow cooked Osso Bucco or lamb shanks. Or try a mug of bone broth on its own as an afternoon snack.

Please speak with your health professional before making any changes to your diet or exercise regimen.

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