Does Your Elbow Hurt?
There are many causes of elbow pain. This is not intended to be an exhaustive discussion of the subject. Rather, it is my intention to provide you with a brief list and some easy-to-do exercises you can do at home to help. These exercises should be done easily and gently – if there is pain – back off! More is not better in this instance and you could potentially make things even worse.
As always, if there is significant pain or you are under the care of a physician, talk to your healthcare provider about these exercises before starting.
Ready? Ok, here we go:
Pain on the inside or outside of the elbow:
We’ve all heard the terms “golfer’s elbow” and “tennis elbow”, right? Don’t worry about which is which, this will help to “loosen up” either one!
Sit or stand with arms hanging down. Shake your hands back and forth for 10-20 seconds. (this is a very fast turning of the hand back and forth, not the ‘shake the water off your hands’ motion.)
Bend both elbows so your hands are palms up in front of you with your elbows at your sides.
Take one hand and hold the other, so that you can turn the one you are holding a little further in the direction that you went to turn your palm up in the first place. When you reach resistance (NOT max force!), stop, and let your “turning hand” become immovable. Gently try to turn your palm-up hand in the direction that would turn it in a palm-down direction. Hold the resistance for about 6 seconds. There is no movement occurring during this 6 seconds.
Now, turn the same hand palm-down, use the other hand to move it further in that direction, and again, resist, this time turning the hand being held toward a palm-up direction against the resistance of your immovable hand.
Repeat with the other hand.
Do this entire sequence 2-3 times on each side. Remember, be gentle!
Pain/numbness/tingling (any or all) going down the little finger side of your forearm to the ring finger and pinkie and perhaps part of your middle finger as well:
There are several potential causes of this, but a common one is simply resting your elbows on a desk, or more commonly, hard chair arms, for an extended period of time.
The above exercises will help this too!
If you suspect that the cause is elbows on desk or chair (pay attention next time you are at your desk and see what you’re are doing regularly with your arms), consider a small pillow or pad of some sort under your elbow. Commercial elbow pads are available for just this use too.
Watch for next week’s blog, where I will be discussing wrist issues (carpal tunnel anyone?). Until then, have a fabulous week, and stay loose!
Alison Sue Adams
Instructor, Coach, and Author
Sue is a Master Life Coach specializing in working with groups to release past trauma and move them forward in life.
Sue has nearly 30 years of experience as a bodyworker working with mind-body connections, including visualization and dialogue along with hands-on bodywork, to release emotional trauma in the body and mind. She has worked with infants, children, adults and families in individual and group settings.
Sue is known locally as, “the therapist’s therapist.” Her first book is titled, “Muscle Energy Technique Made Easy for Healthcare Professionals”.