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4 Method to Prevent Elbow Ailments

4 Method to Prevent Elbow Ailments

by Chris Williams
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In today’s world we have a lot of available products that help us with common ailments such as headaches, allergies and some muscular pains. Even if this is the case joint pains are still the most common ailment complained about by most people regardless of age and profession. Joints in general are the most used parts of the body and often receive high amounts of stress. Walking, running, writing, typing, chewing and a lot of other common activities use our joints. Our elbows, one of the most commonly used joints are used for everyday tasks as they allow our hands to do what they need to do. Over time and constant use our joints are afflicted by ailments such as Cubital Tunnel Syndrome or Medical Epicondylitis is better known as Golfer’s or Tennis Elbow. With this in mind, you might find yourself asking “So… what can I do about it?” well, as doctors always put it “prevention is better than cure”.

Regular exercise helps our body keep up with the things it does for us daily. It helps strengthen muscles, tendons and joints reducing the chances of having ailments related to the parts that we exercise. Jogging for example, helps keep our cardiovascular system along with our knee and ankle joints strong which helps with potential heart, knee and ankle problems. You might be wondering “But what about my elbows?” before we talk about the exercises let’s take a look at where these paints stem from.

Golfer’s or Tennis Elbow also known as Medical Epicondylitis is an injury that happens with the overuse of the elbow, along with the wrist and fingers for gripping such as the ones we perform in the sports that the injury was associated with (Tennis and Golf) or in day to day activities. In this condition the tendons on our forearm attach to the boney bump on the inside of the elbow. This is commonly felt on the outside or sharp part of the elbow spreading to the forearm and wrist. Using a cold compress or ice, rest, and over the counter pain relievers can be to prevent the pain, if these do not work consult your doctor for a better diagnosis of the situation. In some cases, specific exercises may be recommended to help minimize the pain and rehabilitate the joint.

Another common Elbow condition is called Cubital Tunnel Syndrome or Ulnar Nerve Entrapment. This happens when the nerve on the arm becomes compressed or irritated. The Ulnar nerve, one of the main nerves in our arms, run from the neck down to the hands and commonly compresses behind the inside part of the elbow. This is commonly caused by an irritation on the ulnar nerve when repeatedly bending our elbows or keeping them bent for an extended period of time. Some examples would be sleeping with bent elbows and leaning on your elbows for long periods. Tingling sensations in the hand, ring finger or little finger or numbness are common symptoms of Cubital Tunnel Syndrome. Avoiding activities which include bending your arms for too long or ones that put pressure on your arms and elbows can help stay clear of Cubital Tunnel Syndrome. If you frequently use a computer, avoid using low chairs and resting your elbows on the armrests for long periods of time. If the symptoms hinder you from performing day to day activities consult your doctor.

To reduce the chances of elbow ailments here are some exercises that can strengthen your joints and muscles around the elbow area to take some strain off of your elbows:

BICEP CURLS
1. While sitting, spread your legs a bit wider than your shoulders and lean forward.
2. Rest your left elbow on your left thigh and your right hand on your right thigh.
3. Set your arm horizontally and hold the weight in your left hand.
4. Slowly curl your left arm up to your chest and slowly bring it back down its original horizontal position.
5. Do 10 to 12 repetitions and then switch to your other arm.

WRIST CURLS
1. Lean on a table with your forearm making sure that your hand is hanging off the edge of the table and your palm is facing up.
2. Grip an object like a water bottle or dumbbell weighing around 1 to 2 pounds in your hand
3. Slowly raise and lower the object using your wrist, while keeping your forearm on the table and your palm facing up.
4. Do 10 to 12 repetitions and then switch to your other arm.
5. Switch back to the first arm, but this time with the palm facing down.
6. Repeat Steps 2 to 4 while keeping the palm facing down.

STRESS SQUEEZE
1. Hold a stress ball or balled up sock in your left hand,
2. Clench your fist and hold the position for 5 to 6 seconds then relax your hand loosening the grip on the object for 10 seconds.
3. Do 10 to 12 repetitions and then switch to your other hand.

WRIST DEVIATION EXERCISES
1. Sit with your forearm flat on an armrest or on a table with your hand hanging off the edge.
2. Hold your hand out vertically with your fingers together. Move your hand up and down at the wrist keeping your forearm on the armrest or table.
3. Do 10 to 12 repetitions and then switch to your other hand. You may also do an additional set if you would like to stretch out your wrist muscles a bit more.
Remember that these exercises may help you recover from your current elbow pains but if the pain keeps coming back or if these activities are causing more pain, you should stop them immediately and have your arms checked by your physician.

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