Stretching Exercises that Can Help Relieve the Pain of Tennis Elbow or Golfer’s Elbow

July 10th, 2020

As we transition into a new summer season this gives life to spending more time outside to enjoy the beautiful sunshine we have been longing for. Camping, hiking, and fishing are a few of the activities that seem to get more popular as the weather takes a turn for the better. Fishing is a hobby that I have come to love in the PNW especially in the summer months. The purpose of this article is to address potential injuries that could occur while fishing and preventative measures to keep you out on the water longer, including pain from tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow.

Lateral epicondylitis, also known as tennis elbow, is an overuse condition caused by overworking and inflaming, the extensor musculature in the forearm which is located on the outside of the forearm. Typical symptoms include a burning sensation located near the outer part of the elbow/ forearm and weak grip strength1.  Depending on the type of fishing you are doing and how you are gripping the rod can put you at risk without even knowing it. 

Another condition, very similar to lateral epicondylitis, that fishermen can be predisposed to is medial epicondylitis. Medial epicondylitis, also known as golfer’s elbow, is an overuse condition that occurs when there are damage and inflammation to the flexor musculature of the forearm. The flexors of the forearm originate from the inside of the forearm, and typical symptoms include pain and tenderness to the inside of the elbow/forearm, stiffness in the elbow, and loss of grip strength. Numbness and tingling in the fingers can also occur with this condition as well2

Exercises to Help With Tennis Elbow or Golfer’s Elbow

The good news about both conditions, however, is that research shows that a stretching and strengthening regiment greatly reduces one’s chance of developing these conditions.  The first stretch is for the forearm extensors.  Hold this position for 30-45 seconds, take a break, and then repeat this stretch three more times. 

The next stretching exercise is for the forearm flexors.  Hold this position for 30-45 seconds, take a break, and then repeat this stretch three more times. Both of these stretches should be performed before you fish, along with intermittently while you are on the water for tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow relief. 

There are also strengthening exercises that can be performed at home to help avoid irritation to these muscle groups as well. The first exercise targets your forearm flexors.  Perform 20 repetitions, take a break, then repeat.

Another strengthening exercise is for your forearm extensors. Perform 20 repetitions, take a break, then repeat. Both of these exercises can be performed on a daily or bi-daily basis. 

Knowing how to address injuries before they take place is much of the battle, hopefully this article provides some tips to keep you on the water longer during these beautiful months to come. Stay safe and healthy.  

Are you suffering from tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow? Read more to learn stretching exercises that can help relieve your pain or schedule an appointment with Eastside Sports Rehab Bellevue WA today! Call 425.576.8180 to speak with one of our office staff.

Greg Gould is a true native to the PNW by being born and raised in Portland, OR. He then moved to southern California to attended Azusa Pacific University, receiving a B.S. in Applied Health Sciences in 2016. After his undergraduate studies, Greg went on to complete his Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree from the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences in Austin, TX in 2018. He has completed clinical affiliations in a range of physical therapy settings including pediatrics, neurological, and orthopedic rehabilitation. His lifelong passion for sports, performance, and health led him to pursue physical therapy as his career. His clinical philosophy centers on providing his patients with a thorough understanding of their condition and empowering them with the long term tools to optimize their function in a pain-free state. In his free time, he enjoys fishing and being in the outdoors, along with playing basketball and being active every chance he gets.




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