Exercises to improve range of motion in your elbow are important for overall health, but also for preventing problems such as tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow.
These exercises can help increase flexibility in the joint and prevent injury. The following elbow range-of-motion exercises may be recommended by your physical therapist. Yet they can also be done outside of your PT sessions, such as when you’re at home or at the gym, to improve mobility in the elbow joint.
Elbow range-of-motion exercises
1. Elbow extension — Extend your arm out straight. Keep your wrist straight and hold a light weight (less than 1 pound). Bend your arm to bring it back to the original position. Repeat 10 times three times a day. This exercise can help improve mobility and flexibility in the elbow joint by moving it through its entire extension range. It can also help ease elbow pain, such as nerve pain.
2. Elbow flexion — Flex your arm straight out in front of you, keeping your wrist straight. Slowly bend your arm toward you as far as you can; then straighten it until it is back to its original position. Repeat 10 times three times a day. This can help strengthen the muscles surrounding the elbow joint and improve mobility and flexibility in the joint.
3. Wrist extension — Extend your hand out straight in front of you with your palm facing up and fingers pointed forward. Slowly lower your hand down toward the floor while maintaining a straight wrist. Hold for a second or two, and then bring your hand back to the starting position. Complete this exercise 10 times per set, and try to get in three sets a day.
4. Wrist turn — The wrist turn exercise is a simple movement. It involves turning the hand and forearm through their full range of motion, which helps to maintain flexibility in the joints. It also helps to strengthen the muscles that support the joints. Start with your forearm wrist and hand straight. Then, slowly rotate your hand until your palm is facing upward. Hold this position for a moment, and then return to the starting position.
5. Fist squeeze — The fist squeeze exercise is a great way to build up your strength and flexibility in the forearm muscles that support your elbows. To do the exercise, ball up your fist and squeeze 20 to 30 times at least once a day. You can add difficulty to the exercise by squeezing a stress ball.
Learn more ways to improve your elbow range of motion at Health Plus PT, Edison
Elbow range-of-motion exercises are great tools. They can help you regain a normal range of motion in your elbow with regular use and patience. However, if you need a bit more help improving elbow range of motion or fighting pain, Health Plus Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Center, Edison, NJ has physical therapists who can help you.