Any ideas on an interesting, progressive rehab program for 'tennis elbow'?


By: Gym Jones

Respect to you all and your ethos - extra inspiring.

I have a 'tennis elbow' problem since overdoing, I think that's what caused it, a kettlebell snatch - overhand pull-up - power clean superset session two months ago.

Too much pulling without building up over a period of time? Anyway, since then I have just focused on bodyweight arm exercises - push-ups and for the last few weeks just on yoga arm balances. It's not getting a lot better, it's improved but it's not strong enough to return to weights and pull-ups.

Any ideas on an interesting, progressive rehab program that doesn't involve total arm rest and 'massage' as recommended on every internet site I have seen about 'tennis elbow'.


There are a couple of things worth trying. Several of us have had good-to-great success with ART, Active Release Technique. This may be due to the skill of the practitioners we have used or the method itself. One of our climbers cured nine years of recurring tendonitis in 10 sessions. Typically the climbers get the "golfer's elbow" (inside attachment) but the treatment should work the same way.

To increase circulation to the tendon, which does not have great blood flow especially when irritated, ice it for five minutes every hour. Lightly rub ice directly on the elbow.

My cycling coach also uses a needling technique to stimulate circulation in cases when the icing does not work. This is not acupuncture per se, instead acupuncture needles are used to irritate the tendon, make it "bleed" thus increasing circulation. It's a bit radical but effective.

The cause is "overuse" but the issue may develop from a variety of factors, explosive hyper-extension being one of them. It probably wasn't the KB Snatches but the Cleans and the pull-ups, specifically falling onto a locked arm when tired. If this is the case then some rest will indeed help ... along with some other treatments. You can work on static holds on the rings for a while (top of the dip position, i.e. ring support, and the push-up position, feet same height as hands) to maintain strength without moving through a range of motion and to develop musculature around the shoulder girdle which assists with most arm movements and when weak transfers stress to muscle and connective tissue further down the arm.

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