Tennis elbow is a very common repetitive strain injury that doesn’t just affect tennis players, but can happen in any situation where repetitive strain is caused on elbow joints and tendons.
It can be a very painful experience and last for months. While there are many ways to treat it, it’s always best to prevent it from happening.
As a lifetime tennis player, I used to regularly suffer with this type of injury and it put me out of action for months at a time. Through months of physio I learned a lot about the injury and eventually figured out that my forearm and serve were the problem.
After a few weeks of coaching to change the technique I eventually solved the problem. It’s now been 6 years since I last had this pain, and I want to share the tips I have learned over the years.
Our Top Prevention Tips
Fortunately, there are ways to prevent tennis elbow and we’re here to help you. You’ll need to stay faithful with certain steps but just because you may be at risk for tennis elbow doesn’t mean that you will end up with it. The following tips will help you to stay away from having to deal with the pain that comes from tennis elbow.
- If you have found that you have pain related to tennis elbow, consider going to the doctor about it. If you are just starting to notice the first signs it could be easier to treat you before it becomes a serious issue.
- Learn how to play with the right technique. A lot of times, those who end up with tennis elbow do so due to not using the proper techniques in tennis. Whether you hyperextend your wrist during your tennis game or overstretch your muscle as you go to hit in your game, you could be headed towards this kind of elbow ailment.
If you’ve noticed that you don’t seem to have the right technique or you find yourself with a lot of pain after every game, you may want to consider practicing proper technique as much as possible so that you can avoid straining your muscles.
- Take a break from your sport or (if possible) from the specific movement that is straining your arm at work. While not always possible, you can help to prevent chronic pain by letting your arms rest. If you type for work, whether because you write content, do data entry, or have to do any kind of desk job that requires you to be at your keyboard all day, consider using an app that allows you to dictate what you want to say instead of having to type everything out.
While you may feel silly or not so fluent at what you want to say at first, with time, you’ll get used to it. Who knows? You may never want to go back to typing again.
- Exercising is important for preventing tennis elbow. Strengthening your “weak areas” can go far in helping to keep you safe from injury. If you happen to have a coach for your tennis games, ask them to give you exercise routines to strengthen your weak joints. In the same vein, warming up before your games can also help to prevent tennis elbow, as can stretching.
- Knowing what kind of equipment to use in tennis is important as well. The repeated vibrations and impact on your racquet can be transferred to your elbow. This type of shock can eventually cause you to have to deal with tennis elbow. When you shop for our next tennis racquet, make sure to see if it has shock absorption technology. This can help you to play more comfortably and even have better contact in your game.
- If you’ve been noticing inflammation after games, you could consider putting ice on the swollen areas. Sometimes this could be from overuse of your muscles and while it may not yet be tennis elbow, it could end up becoming tennis elbow. Ice will help you to soothe the pain and reduce inflammation but if you’re concerned that it could be tennis elbow, make sure to see your doctor about it.
- If you have had elbow injuries in the past, you may want to start using an elbow sleeve or brace (click here for more info) during your game. If you work with your arms, you could also benefit from using a brace during your work day. Not only can it help to take away any pain that you may have but it can also help to reduce stress when you’re practicing a lot or playing a lot.
Tennis elbow is no fun so if you can avoid ever getting it, then you will want to follow the above tips. Learning how to use the proper techniques in your sport is certainly important, as is taking a break from your typing every now and then. You need rest your arm if you have to use your arms for work on a regular basis.
Prevention is a much better idea than treatment in this case, so if you can avoid ever getting tennis elbow, go for it. Tennis elbow is not easy to cure and it takes a while for treatment to work, so unless you have patience, it’s best to take your time to do these simple steps to avoid serious issues.