Video: Avoid Tennis Elbow in 10 Seconds

Try this super-simple stretch to keep your favorite activities pain-free

As fall leaves come floating down, there’s a good chance you’ll have some raking to do. But bad form while raking—or during any repetitive motion, such as  lifting weights, using tools, painting,  working at a computer, and of course, swinging a tennis racket—can lead to a bad case of tennis elbow. This tenderness over the outside of the elbow can make your regular routine very painful.

Why does it happen? The combination of a powerful grip with excessive wrist extension (think revving a motorcycle) can put a strain on the tendon that attaches to the outside of the elbow.   Overuse of this tendon over time can cause small tears that then heal and lay scar tissue, limiting motion and causing pain each time you try to grasp and lift.

The best prevention for tennis elbow is taking breaks during your activity and stretching your forearm muscles after a warm-up.  This video demonstrates the proper way to stretch your forearm muscles.

Try to take breaks during your activity, allowing 15 minutes of rest time for every few hours worked.  The combination of resting and stretching should allow you to avert this painful condition and allow you to enjoy your favorite activities and cross off those chores.