3 Physical Therapy Rehab Phases for Tennis Elbow Everyone Needs to Follow

physical therapy for tennis elbow

If you are one of the millions of people around the globe who become affected with tennis elbow each year, you know the pain is real.

And of the most frustrating aspects of this repetitive strain injury is that impacts so many tasks and everyday chores that we simply take for granted.

You’ve probably already done some research online into your condition but

Did you know that if you go the route of physical therapy for tennis elbow, you should know that there are 3 phases in which you will need to implement and follow.

Let’s take a deeper look into what is involved for each of these phases.

Phase 1

phase 1 physical therapy

Your primary goal at the beginning of your rehab is to address your symptoms.

That means controlling pain and inflammation, jump starting the healing process of your muscle fibres/tendons and addressing any muscle atrophy that may be present.

So what steps do you need to take?

The very first thing you can do is rest your affected arm.

Now I don’t mean putting your arm in a sling or just sitting around at home and not using your arm at all.

Immobilizing your affected arm altogether only promotes muscle atrophy, so please keep your arm moving.

What I mean is to avoid any and all movements or actions that make your elbow pain worse.

For example, don’t carrying around heavy bags using your affected arm.

Avoid all activities that require extension of your wrist and forceful gripping/squeezing.

Get some ice on your elbow.

Especially over the first few weeks of suffering your injury.

It will help with pain and address inflammation/swelling issues.

Use some sort of bandage or compress on your elbow can provide a feeling and sense of comfort.

It also is a sign to others that you are injured and to avoid bumping into you.

The website MoveForwardPT.com has a great article on physio and tennis elbow you really should read.

Phase 2

phase 2 physical therapy

Your main objective in this phase of your physical therapy is to increase your arm’s flexibility and strength.

And eventually return to all normal activities without elbow pain.

When you do stretches for tennis elbow, it is important to keep your arm straight.

This will allow for the deepest and most effective stretch.

It’s important to remember that you should never stretch to the point of pain or making your symptoms any worse than they already are.

Listen to your body and if something doesn’t “feel right” – simply stop.

So which stretches are best?

Check out my article on the Top 4 Stretches for tennis elbow over here.

Once you’ve mastered the stretching aspect as part of your therapy plan

You next need to start the strengthening phase.

And this is much simpler than it sounds.

When you mention the word “exercise” to people, they immediately think money, time and sweat.

Not necessarily in that order.

When it comes to tennis elbow, you don’t really need any of these three.

You don’t need money to invest in exercise equipment (although if you goto a physical therapist, you’d better have a money tree)

Time – you only need 3 minutes every other day.

I’m sure you have that, especially if it means putting an end to your elbow discomfort once and for all.

Let’s be honest here.

Who really likes breaking a sweat, especially when it comes to exercising?

Let alone trying to overcome an injury that can be so difficult to manage and treat.

Wouldn’t you like to know which exercise for tennis elbow stands out above the rest?

If you were to do only one exercise, the one in which you should do everyday is the forearm eccentric exercise.

The reason why I recommend this one specifically is because you really helps build thickness and strength in your forearm extensor muscles.

Now if you are a woman and reading this …

You are probably thinking

I don’t want my forearms to get all muscular and thick.

Am I right?

Trust me, this is not going to happen.


Because you start out using a can of soup or water bottle for weight resistance.

It’s not about how much weight you use, it’s all about the range of motion and really working those forearm extensor muscles and tendons.

Phase 3

phase 3 physical therapy

Return to normal activities.

As with any type of rehab and recovery, it is vitally important to ease yourself back into things.

So if for example you are a tennis player.

Don’t go back onto the court when you have completely your recovery and play a 3 set match.

That will be absolutely counter productive to all of the hard work and effort you put into your recovery.

Just go out onto the court and hit balls for 30 mins.

If you feel the slightest pain in your upper forearm or elbow, stop immediately.

This means you are not ready to return to normal activities.

Go back and focus on your stretching and strengthening.

The same goes for anyone who works in construction or work involves using hand tools on a daily basis.

The absolute worst thing you can do is go back to work and go full power.

You really need to ease yourself back into it and take 15 minute breaks at least every 2 hours.

When dealing with a tennis elbow injury, less is more.

So what else could possibly come up in a Physical therapy session?

Dealing with your pain and symptoms is quite popular.

I have a confession to make.

I hate taking drugs or any kind of medication.

It is my belief that there are always alternatives to simply popping a pill for pain.

As you’ve already read above in phase 1, applying ice to your arm can help sooth your pain.

But …

Did you also know that applying heat can also do the trick as well?

It’s absolutely true!

Applying heat to your elbow sends fresh, mineral and nutrient rich blood to your damaged muscle fibbers and tendons.

Not only will you notice a huge decrease in pain but your arm should become more flexible and your range of motion should be greater.

Give it a try, I promise you’ll like the results!

Now what if you are not made of money (like me), and don’t have the $150 to spend on PT sessions every 2 weeks?

Here’s the good news!

Treating and healing your tennis elbow at home has never been easier and so cheap.

I’ve put together a video which explains 5 easy steps you can do this very minute, from the chair you are sitting right now

Which can dramatically accelerate your healing time from tennis elbow.

So click on the button below and follow the exact steps that I lay out for you in the video tutorial – ok?

learn more here

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