Golfers Elbow, or Medial Epicondylitis, can be significantly improved with some prudent self care. For this form of tendonitis, a good multi-pronged approach includes elimination of unnecessary strain, appropriate corrective stretches, adequate hydration and rest.
First, work to identify and eliminate as many sources of strain as possible so that your day to day activities create fewer chances for further injury to your already damaged muscles.
Pay attention to the amount of force you apply when you grip objects. Reduce your grip strength as much as possible. When you do grasp objects, make sure you keep your wrist level and in straight alignment with the forearm. If you use pens or pencils in your work, then adding a padded grip, found in any office supply store, to the barrel of the pen or pencil can ease the strain of gripping around a small diameter object.
Eliminate the use of armrests on your desk chairs and make sure that you never rest your forearms on a desk or tabletop, especially on the sharp edge. This will reduce the interference of the motion of the flexor muscles as they contract and relax.
Begin a consistent program of gentle, slow stretching. It is best to remember that this is injured tissue you are working with. Hard or aggressive stretching will only act to aggravate Golfers Elbow or Medial Epicondylitis and you will gain no net benefit from the time spent in aggressive stretching. Remember - slow and gentle yields far better results.
The best stretches for Medial Epicondylitis are the ones that lengthen the flexor muscles of your forearm by bending your wrist or fingers toward the back of your hand. It is always helpful to reverse the motion that causes the strain. The stretches will feel different and will yield different results if your arms are straight, or if they are bent at the elbow. Try both kinds to see which one works best for you.
Adding a twist to your forearms as you stretch the flexor muscles will also add an additional level of release to stuck and damaged tissues.
Adequate water intake is also very important to your recovery from Medial Epicondylitis. Hydrated muscles are healthier muscles that can respond more appropriately to movement and exertion. Drink lots and lots of water.
Sometimes, especially in the case of Medial Epicondylitis, it is important to completely rest. By this I mean to put your arms in your lap and do nothing, not even holding a telephone. Muscles and tendons that are strained, as they are in Medial Epicondylitis, seem to respond very well to good, old fashioned nothingness. Try this and see if you like the results.
If doing nothing with your hands and arms is impractical for you, then frequent sessions of 60 seconds of rest occurring periodically throughout your day will help ease the overall strain experienced in your forearms and allow the muscles and tendons time to calm down.
Medial Epicondyltis can be a bit frustrating because we have to use the muscles of the forearm with just about every move we make with our arms and hands. It is often hard to find ways to eliminate all of the sources of stress to those muscles and tendons. But, it is important that while your progress may be a bit slower, it is still progress. Do not give up on your stretching, water and rest programs. You can still succeed!
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