This video shows two exercises which strengthen the forearm muscles.
These muscles help control movement of the wrist and fingers, so you might have these prescribed to you to help with conditions effecting the hand.
However, we commonly prescribe these exercises to help elbow pain. Including tennis elbow.
Many of the muscles which impart action on the hand, originate from the bottom of the humorus, at a bony prominence called the lateral epichondyle. It is here, at the common extensor origin, where many people experience tendon pain. We call this lateral epichondylosis, or tennis elbow.
Tendons often respond very well when we load them with exercises. We just have to graduate the increase in load so we don’t flare up your pain.
The first exercise is an isometric exercise, which means the muscle does not shorten or lengthen whilst it contracts. This allows us to introduce load without stressing the joint or the painful area.
Isometric exercises also allow us to introduce a heavier load to the tendon than we would if the muscle was required to control its shortening or lengthening.
Simply grip the weight with your hand in neutral.
Hold this weight for the allocated time, which might be around 30 seconds, after this time, rest for 30 seconds or your allocated time) before moving on to repeat the hold again. You can perform the hold in the other hand whilst you rest.
We might have you do this 10 times but your osteopath will discuss the sets and reps with you, just ensure that you graduate the increase in weight slowly but consistently over several weeks.
The second exercise is an isotonic exercise has the muscle length change during the contraction. In this exercise the muscle is working eccentrically as we lower the wrist down, and concentrically as we bring the wrist back up.
Both of these exercises strengthen the forearm muscles. However, this isotonic exercise helps improve muscle control through movement, improving the muscles ability to control the wrist and dissipate force, which takes the pressure off the tendons.
Perform the downwards phase very slowly to encourage control from the muscle and strength in the tendon.
Your osteopath will again discuss the sets and reps appropriate for you.