Tennis Elbow Treatment (At Home)

This blog post offers effective exercises and strategies to help treat your own Tennis Elbow at home.

What is Tennis Elbow?

lateral elbow tendonitis

“Tennis Elbow” is a condition which involves an injury to the tendons in the elbow.

It is associated with pain on the outer side of the elbow/forearm.

(It is also referred to as “Lateral Epicondylitis”.)

Table Of Contents

Tendons Involved

The following muscles/tendons are involved with a Tennis Elbow injury,

The function of these muscles is to EXTEND the wrist/fingers

They share a common attachment site called the Common Extensor Origin.

Potential injury to:

  • Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis
  • Extensor Digitorum
  • Extensor Carpi Ulnaris
  • Extensor Carpi Radialis Longus
  • Supinator

(Note: I would advise you to check out the location of these muscles on Google.)

causes

Essentially – it is due to overuse, misuse and/or abuse of the elbow.

Any repetitive or prolonged use of weak elbow structures can increase the risk of an injury.

This may be associated with:

  • Using your wrist in an ineffective position over a prolonged amount of time
  • Insufficient recovery times between periods of use
  • Performing activities at loads which exceed the capacity of the elbow tendons

How to tell if you have Tennis Elbow

Here a few methods to determine if you have Tennis Elbow.

a) Get A Scan

An ultrasound or a MRI scan of the elbow is the best way to determine if you have any injury to the elbow.

b) Location Of Pain

Pain is usually experienced on the outside of the elbow and/or forearm.

c) Test For Tennis Elbow

lateral elbow tendonitis test

Instructions:

  • Place your arm in front of you.
  • Have your palm facing downwards and fingers extended.
  • Using your other hand, apply a firm downward force on top of your finger tips.
  • Resist this motion.

Results: If your pain is reproduced in the outer side of the elbow, then it is likely you have Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow).


Exercises for Tennis Elbow

When performing the following exercises at home, please be gentle so that you do not make your pain worse.

STEP 1: Reduce Aggravation
STEP 2: Reduce Inflammation
STEP 3: Symptomatic Relief
STEP 4: Releases
STEP 5: Stretches
STEP 6: Nerve Sensitivity
STEP 7: Isometric Exercises
STEP 8: Strengthening Exercises
STEP 9: Reduce Demand On Elbow
STEP 10: Neutral Wrist
STEP 11: Know Your Limits
STEP 12: Address Rounded Shoulders

STEP 13: Taping And Braces

Step 1: Address any activity that causes pain

Stop, Modify and/or Reduce exposure to any activity that makes your symptoms worse.

How can you expect the following exercises to help if you continue to aggravate your symptoms?

I can’t stress this enough: Failure to comply with Step 1 will make it very difficult for you to fix your elbow.

Step 2: Reduce Inflammation

Before starting the exercises at home, it is important to reduce the amount of inflammation in the elbow.

(If the inflammation is not under control, the elbow may be too painful or sensitive to tolerate the exercises mentioned on this blog post.)

a) Use a Cold Pack

This will help to:

  • Reduce excessive inflammation
  • Decrease the pain levels by numbing the area
  • Manage the amount of swelling

Recommendation: 10-15 minutes, 3-5 times a day

I generally recommend cold therapy for 2-3 days following any recent aggravation.

b) Anti-Inflammatory Gel

Apply an anti-inflammatory gel to the areas of pain to help manage excessive inflammation.

Recommendation: 2-3/day

c) Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

This oral medication reduces inflammation in the whole body.

It is recommended that you take it strictly for 10-14 days, at the same time of day, regardless of pain levels.

(Consult your doctor to determine the appropriate medication and respective dosage.)

d) Steroid Injection

This injection consists of a strong steroid (Cortisone) which helps reduces local inflammation.

My recommendation: Try the following exercises before you even consider getting the cortisone injection.

Step 3: Symptomatic relief

Consider the following options to reduce pain levels.

a) Heat Pack

Applying heat to the painful area can help to:

  • Relax tight muscles
  • Improve circulation
  • Attract nutrients and healing properties to the area

Recommendation: 10-15 minutes, 3-5 times a day

(Note: Following a recent injury to the elbow, I recommend applying a cold pack for 24-72 hours. After this period, switch to heat application.

b) Pain Medication

In the initial stages, pain medication can help reduce the amount of pain being experienced.

However, as the pain levels improve, I would strongly encourage you to wean off as soon as you can.

(Note: If you are considering taking any medication, consult your doctor to determine what medication will be the most appropriate.)

Step 4: Releases

Releasing the tight muscles in the elbow can help reduce tension in the painful region.

a) Outer Elbow Release

elbow release

Instructions:

  • Place a massage ball on top of a table.
  • Place the painful region on top of the massage ball.
  • Lean an appropriate amount of pressure down on the massage ball.
  • Be careful not to press directly onto any bony surfaces.
  • Continue for 2 minutes.

(Note: If the area of pain is too sensitive, do not continue performing this technique as it may lead to more aggravation. You may need to consider revisiting Step 2: Reduce Inflammation and Step 3: Pain Relief.)

Step 5: Stretches

Stretching is a great way to reduce tension in the tight structures in the elbow.

Stretching is all about a game of angles. You may need to adjust the position of your hand/wrist until you achieve the specific stretch in the right location.

(Note: DO NOT stretch into sharp pain!)

a) Stretch to Extensors

tennis elbow stretch

Instructions:

  • Straighten your arm in front of you. (palm facing downwards)
  • Make a gentle fist with your hand.
  • Bend your wrist downwards.
  • Twist your wrist outwards.
  • Using your other hand, apply a downward pressure onto back of the hand.
    • Make sure that there is no tingling/numbness in your fingers as you do this!
  • Whilst locking your wrist into position, twist your arm so that the elbow crease is facing more upwards.
  • Aim to feel a stretch on the top side of the elbow.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat 3 times.

Warning: If you develop tingling and/or numbness in the palm or fingers whilst performing this stretch, you may have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. If this is the case – cease this stretch immediately.

b) Stretch to Flexors

forearm flexor stretch

Instructions:

  • Straighten your arm in front of you. (palm facing upwards)
  • Keep your hand and fingers opened.
  • Bend your hand towards the floor.
  • Using your other hand, bend the fingers/wrist further backwards.
  • Aim to feel a stretch along the front of the fingers, wrist and forearm.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat 3 times.

Step 6: Reduce nerve sensitivity

There are several nerves in the elbow that may amplify the amount of pain being experienced.

Nerve glides/stretches are great ways to reduce the sensitivity of the nerves.

(READ THIS: Do not over stretch the nerves as this can cause more irritation! Go slow! Avoid any tingling/numbness in the arms.)

a) Nerve Stretch

nerve glide for tennis elbow

Instructions:

  • Pull your shoulders back and down.
  • Keep your elbow completely straight throughout this exercise.
  • Lift your arm out towards the side towards shoulder height
  • Make a gentle fist with your hand.
  • Twist your entire arm inwards (internal rotation) so that the palm is facing behind you.
  • Bend your wrist backwards.
  • Slowly tilt your neck towards the opposite side.
  • Aim to feel a stretch anywhere along the side of the neck/upper arm/outside elbow and back of wrist.
  • Hold for 1-2 seconds.
  • Repeat 20 times.

Step 7: Isometric Contractions

Isometric contractions of the elbow is when you activate the muscle without moving the elbow/wrist/fingers.

The aim of the following Tennis Elbow exercises is to reduce pain and to commence gentle strengthening exercises.

a) Isometric Exercise

isometric elbow exercises

Instructions:

  • Bend your elbow to 90 degrees whilst keeping your elbow by your side.
  • Make a gentle fist with the palm facing downwards.
  • Maintain this position as you push down on the fist with your other hand.
  • The aim is to push as hard as possible without causing a significant amount of pain.
    • A slight discomfort and/or small amount of pain is acceptable.
  • Feel the contraction of the muscle at the site of pain.
  • Hold for 45 seconds.
  • Repeat 3 times.
  • Progression:
    • Perform the same exercises with an open hand. (resistance applied at finger tips).
    • You can perform this exercise at different wrist angles as well.
    • Repeat exercise with a straight arm.

Step 8: Strengthening exercises

These exercises are designed to improve tendon strength, endurance and load tolerance in the elbow.

My Recommendation:

  • Start with a light resistance with high repetitions.
  • Progress to heavier resistance with low repetitions.
  • Use a firm grip.
  • Use a wider grip as a progression.

a) Grip Strength

tennis elbow exercises

Instructions:

  • Grip onto a stress ball.
  • Squeeze as hard as you can without feeling any pain.
  • Hold for 5-10 seconds.
  • Repeat 10 times.
  • Progression: Move your hand in different directions as you squeeze. (eg. Up/down, circles, side to side, twisting)

b) Eccentric Strengthening

eccentric exercises

Instructions:

  • Support your forearm onto a table with your hand hanging over the edge.
    • The palm should be facing downwards.
  • Place a suitable amount of weight in your hand.
    • (Challenging, but able to control)
  • Using your unaffected hand, lift both the weight and hand together upwards.
  • Let go of the hand, and allow the hand holding onto the weight to control the weight as it is slowly lowered.
  • Perform 20 repetitions.
  • Repeat 3 times.

c) Resisted Extension

wrist extension

Instructions:

  • Support your forearm onto a table with your hand hanging over the edge.
    • The palm should be facing downwards.
  • Place a suitable amount of weight in your hand.
    • (Challenging, but able to control)
  • Whilst holding onto the weight, proceed to lift and lower the weight in a slow and controlled manner.
    • 3 seconds up/3 seconds down
  • Perform 20 repetitions.
  • Repeat 3 times.

d) Resisted Supination/Pronation

Instructions:

  • Support your forearm onto a table with your hand hanging over the edge.
  • Hold onto a hammer.
  • Proceed to twist your forearm (palms up/down).
  • Perform 20 repetitions.
  • Repeat 3 times.
  • Progression: Tie a resistance band to the hammer.

e) Finger Strength

finger strengthening elbow tendonitis exercises

Instructions:

  • Apply the finger resistance band as shown above.
  • Proceed to open and close your hand.
  • Perform 20 repetitions.
  • Repeat 3 times.

Step 9: Reduce demand on the elbow

The elbow muscles will tend to compensate for any weakness in other areas of the body.

Strengthening these weak areas may reduce the demand on the elbow muscles which can help prevent this issue from returning.

a) Scapula Retraction + Posterior Shoulder Strengthening

shoulder external rotation

Instructions:

  • Tie a resistance band onto a stationary object at waist height.
  • Stand sideways to where the resistance band is anchored.
  • Hold onto the band and keep your elbows by your side throughout the exercise.
  • Make sure to keep your palms facing towards the anchor point.
  • Keep your shoulders wide/long and gently retract the shoulder blades.
  • Pull the resistance band out towards the side.
  • Aim to feel a contraction in between the shoulder blade and behind the shoulder joint.
  • If you feel your elbow is over working, reduce the amount of resistance on the band.
  • Hold for 3-5 seconds.
  • Repeat 10 times.

b) Shoulder Flexion

exercises to help with tennis elbow

Instructions:

  • Hold onto a suitable amount of weight.
    • (Challenging, but able to control)
  • Raise your arm up to shoulder height.
  • Keep your palm facing downwards.
  • Aim to feel a contraction in the front of your shoulder.
  • Make sure to keep your wrist and elbow locked into position.
    • The movement should be from the shoulder only.
  • Repeat 10 times.

c) Thumb Opposition

This exercise will help with your grip strength.

thumb and pinky opposition

Instructions:

  • Place the tips of your pinky finger and thumb together.
  • Squeeze is hard as you can.
  • Keep your fingers curved as you squeeze. (see above)
  • Hold for 10 seconds.
  • Repeat 5 times.

Step 10: Use the Wrist in a neutral position

It is important to use the wrist in a neutral position as it encourages the most optimal use of the muscles.

(Keep in mind – depending on what you’re doing with your hand, this will not always be possible!)

Neutral position of wrist

a) The middle finger is aligned with the line of the forearm

neutral wrist position for elbow tendonitis exercises

b) The wrist is bent slightly backwards

neutral wrist position

Any deviation away from the neutral wrist position may increase the risk of aggravating your symptoms.

To complete a thorough rehabilitation of your elbow injury, it is highly recommended that you eventually challenge yourself with exercises where the arm, elbow, wrist and/or hand are in an awkward (non-neutral) position.

Step 11: Know your limits

Although I have highlighted in Step 1 to avoid all aggravating activities, you still need to keep your elbow as mobile as possible.

Enter what I call Threshold Movements: This refers to the maximum amount of stress the elbow can tolerate before re-aggravating.

(It is important to monitor the pain levels during and 24 hours later.)

The trick is keeping your elbow activity as close to the threshold level without going over.

For Example: If you can tolerate 1 hour of typing without any issue, but your elbow aggravates when you type for 1 hr + 10 minutes, then ~1 hour will be your threshold level.

In this situation, you should aim to type for ~1 hour and follow up by a rest period before resuming the activity.

Step 12: Address Rounded Shoulders

rounded shoulders

A forward position of your shoulder will place your elbow in a position where it may be forced to work inefficiently.

This means that the tendons in the elbow will have to work harder than they should!

Here are some exercises to help you address rounded shoulders:

a) Chest Stretch

Chest stretch

Instructions:

  • Place both hands on the door frame.
  • Pull your shoulders back.
    • “Open up your chest”
  • Lunge forwards.
  • Do not arch your lower back.
  • Aim to feel a stretch in the chest region.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.

b) Scapula Retraction

exercises for rounded shoulders

Instructions:

  • Maintain wide and long shoulders.
  • Perform Scapular Retraction: (see above)
    • “Pull your shoulder blades together”
  • FEEL the contraction between the shoulder blades.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat 3 times.

For a complete guide on how to address this issue:

See Post: Rounded Shoulders

Step 13: Taping And Braces

Elbow taping and braces can help provide support and warmth to your muscles.

Just remember – DO NOT become dependent on them!


Common Questions

Have a question? Please let me know in the comment section and I will get back to you.

a) How often should I do these exercises?

  • Start with 1/week for the first 2 weeks.
  • Progress to 2/week for 4 weeks.
  • Aim for 3/week if tolerated.

b) How long does Tennis Elbow take to heal?

For a minor presentation, it is likely going to take 2-6 weeks to recover.

If you have a chronic case, it may take 3-6 months.

(Keep in mind – there are several factors which can influence the healing time.)


Conclusion

Tennis Elbow is a painful condition where there is injury to the tendons in the elbow.

It is usually caused by loading the elbow above what the tendons/muscles can tolerate.

Follow the suggested exercises and tips on this blog post to completely fix your Tennis Elbow.


What to do next

1. Any questions?… (Leave me a comment down below.)

2. Come join me on the Facebook page. Let’s keep in touch!

3. Start doing the exercises!


Disclaimer: The content presented on this blog post is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. It exists for informational purpose only. Use of the content is at your sole risk. Seek guidance from a health care professional before starting any exercise. For more information: Medical Disclaimer.

53 thoughts on “Tennis Elbow Treatment (At Home)”

    • Hey Johnny,

      Are you referring to more fore arm supination exercises?

      That’s a good idea. I’ll have to add a couple more in addition to the hammer exercise.

      Thanks.

      Mark

      Reply
  1. Hi,
    Thanks for this article, additionally, these 13 step are one of the best steps by which plethora of individuals can get benefits and can get pain free life style, I recommend all to follow these steps and thanks the provider.

    Reply
  2. Tennis players and golfers have more chances to get elbow tendonitis, and stretching before and after would be really helpful.

    Reply
  3. Hi Mark – just wanted to leave a note to say thank you for putting this all together. I’ve had chronic elbow pain for the last two years in my right elbow and am starting to get it on the left, and from countless doctors visits and PT appointments, your list here is the most comprehensive and holistic set of resources I’ve found.

    You’re making a positive change for people, especially in this world where so many people are spending so much time working from home and causing these kinds of injuries (at least the tennis elbow ones for sure).

    Reply
  4. Hi Mark,

    I have crunching and cracking in my left elbow with no pain, every time it is extended. I have also had Tennis elbow in that arm, since August and wondered if the problems might be linked at all?

    I use the gym regularly and play tennis and have been resting now for a month in the hope they tennis elbow will go away. Although the pain is easing the cracking/ crunching sound in my left elbow is almost contact every time it is extended.

    Thank you,
    Josh

    Reply
    • Hey James,

      If the crunching is consistent with pure elbow extension, this could be due to an issue of the Ulnohumeral and/or radiohumeral joint.

      Have you had any scans to check it out?

      Mark

      Reply
    • Hi Mark,

      Thank you for your reply. I have not had a scan as it is causing me no real pain. As I currently have Tennis elbow, I thought the issue could be linked?

      Would you say that this likely to be a different issue? If so is this likely something that settles down on its own?

      Added to this, I was planning on returning to the gym/ tennis in two weeks, if this crunching sound is continuing in my elbow would you recommend not doing so?

      Thank you for your help.

      Reply
      • Hi James,

        Hard to say without assessing. If the clicking is occurring directly over the area you are experiencing your tennis elbow, it could also possibly be a tendon that is flicking over a bony prominence as you extend your elbow.

        However – you specifically mentioned that word “crunching” so this makes me feel it more so the joint. I would recommend getting it scanned (or at least assessed by a health professional) before returning to gym.

        Mark

    • I should also add, the crunching sound is more when I exert force on the elbow. So lifting a weight, doing a press up or hitting a backhands in tennis. Again there is really no pain accompanied with this.

      Reply
  5. Hi Mark,

    I have crunching and grinding in my left elbow joint with some pain. Went to the doctor and got an MRI showing mild cartilage damage on the radius bone. Do you think these exercises would help heal the joint and help remove the crunchiness in my elbow or are there other exercises or things I could try out? I’m not willing to get surgery or steroid injections.

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Hi Frank,

      Although the exercises mentioned are more for the TENDONS, the may also help with the general strength and joint integrity of the elbow.

      You basically want to make sure 1) You have full elbow range of motion and 2) strength/control in full range.

      Mark

      Reply
  6. Hi Mark,
    Thanks for your info. I’ve had this elbow grinding sound coming from both arms for about a year now. It has never led to pain so I never thought much of it. But I recently started getting pain after exercise along with the grating sound during pushing movements. A lot of my workouts involve bearing my body weight like handstands so hopefully I haven’t worn out the cartilage at 39 years old :(. I also have numbness and tingling down the arms into the fingers. When I get out of bed in the morning both elbows usually make loud popping sounds as well and sometimes throughout the day. Does this sound like a joint issue or tendon issue to you? Now that there is pain I’m not doing anything, should I rest or try restorative exercises?
    Thank you!
    William

    Reply
    • Hey William,

      Popping/clicking noise in the elbow could suggest the elbow joint may be moving in a particular direction more than it should.

      (A Snapping sound would fall more in the line of a tendon flicking over a bony prominence)

      Numbness/Tingling down the arms may mean there is some sort of involvement with the nerves.

      Where exactly are you getting the noises, the tingling/numbness and the pain?

      Mark

      Reply
  7. Hey mark,
    I have been suffering from some sort of elbow pain for the past 5 months. Its on the inner elbow and on the back side of it. It does radiate towards the forearm rarely. I have tried physio, exercises, medicine but nothing seems to improve. The xray shows nothing either. I also have grinding in the elbow with pain when i extend it. Any suggestions?
    -btw its the same rafay with shoulder impingement :(

    Thankyou
    Rafay

    Reply
    • Hey Rafay,

      Sounds like a tendon issue at your common flexor origin (“Golfer’s elbow).

      Main thing is to progressively load the tendon by doing exercises like wrist flexion curls and bicep curls.

      Mark

      Reply
      • So would u recommend me to start doing the exercises mentioned in this article. Cos ive tried most of them but i cant stay consistent because i lose hope after doing it for a week or two.
        What should i for the elbow grinding. Is that related to golfers elbow as well?

        Sorry for messaging a lot but I would love to hear from you.

        Thanks

      • Hi Rafay,

        1 week is far too short! The body needs time to adapt to the exercises.

        Elbow grinding sounds more like a joint problem to me, which might be related to muscular dysfunction around the area.

        Mark

  8. Hi Mark,

    Great stuff. Over 2 years ago I developed tennis elbow. As the pain went away I started developing loud crunching sounds in the elbow. So any time I do pushups, etc, I hear loud cracking and mini cracks with a little bit of pain but the pain lasts for a few seconds.

    My questions are, do you think these crunching sounds are scar tissue? And do you think they can be removed without surgery?

    Reply
    • Hi Khan,

      The 2 main possibilities that I can think of:

      1. Increased tension in the tendon (can be related to scar tissue)

      2. The elbow joint

      If it is the former, it is a good idea to release through the area and the strengthen it in various wrist/elbow positions.

      Removal of scar tissue via surgical means rarely works, in my opinion!

      Mark

      Reply
  9. Hi Mark, need your help with my elbow.

    I feel an ache in the elbow area in my left forearm. I can feel it when my biceps is involved. While doing biceps curls – it hurts. Bench press – it doesn’t hurt.

    While doing a seated barbell press – it hurts only at the beginning of the exercise (when I take the barbel from racks while seated).

    I can’t figure out what’s that. It hurts for about 1,5 months now. Thanks

    Reply
      • Mark, I started noticing that problem after I made some changes in my routine.
        1. I was doing dumbbell press with slight declination about 30 deg (that put more stress on my elbows)
        2. Seated barbell press with a short range of motion (more stress on elbows)

        Hope that helps

      • Hi Mark,

        it doesn’t hurt if I supinate or pronate, but when I use some resistance it hurts when I pronate the forearm.

        Stan

      • Any ideas on how to fix it, Mark?

        May I continue my workout with exercises that don’t affect biceps?

        Thanks.
        Stan

      • Hey Stan,

        If it is the tendon that causing the issue, I would continue to load it as much as you comfortably can.

        You might need to go lighter, do less reps, do partial reps etc to make sure you that you do not over load it.

        Mark

  10. Mark,
    My bf pointed out a hump on the back of my neck which led to frantic googling, looking for an answer. I stumbled onto your website from Reddit and have been reading tons of your articles. My problem is that I have many of the issues you describe, and I have no idea where to start! I have had a really bad bit with tendinitis 4 years ago that never fully healed even though I was discharged from the PT paid for by my work. So last year I sought out my own PT and that did seem to help, but I haven’t kept up with the exercises…. I also have Dowager’s Hump, Knee Valgus, APT, Rounded Shoulders, etc etc. I struggle with gripping things and putting too much pressure on the arm with tendinitis that it makes some of the other exercises difficult/painful. I’m not sure if you could give me a direction to start in, or if I should go back to PT for ….well… basically everything? Is full body PT a thing? I worry they will look at me like a crazy person if I tell them that is why I am there. I appreciate any advice you can give.
    Thank you

    Reply
    • Hey Ashley,

      If your elbow tendinitis is the main concern at the moment, you will need to prioritize getting that fixed first.

      Having said that, you will want the PT to have a look at your whole body eventually to see if there is a reason why the elbow might be getting excessive stress.

      Mark

      Reply
  11. Great post, thank you so much!

    A bit out of topic, but do you have any remedies / exercises for the medial hip rotation?

    I’d appreciate any information! Thank you!!

    Reply
    • Hey Ahmed,

      Given that you have had extensive physiotherapy already and still lacking full extension, try to get an XRay to rule out any structural issues may be blocking your elbow movement.

      Mark

      Reply
  12. HI Mark,
    I would honestly like to give you all a major prayer and thank you with tearful eyes! I have been suffering from golfers elbow for 2.5 years now, and even though I have seen these exercises and tips on the net, the way you explained it and told us everything in steps is just a life saver! I will try to be more disciplined and follow your guide. Thanks again!!!!

    Reply
  13. I have trigger thumbs on both hands, can’t bend either one without jumping. I waitress but only 15hrs a week at the most, it is extremely painful

    Reply
    • Hi Lori,

      Here are some general suggestions:

      1. Rest it! Can’t expect it to heal if you keep doing the activities that have caused it in the first place.
      2. Anti-inflams ( as per doctor’s recommendation)
      3. Gentle thumb stretches:
      4. Isometric thumb exercises (a quick google search will show you heaps)
      5. Address upper limb biomechanics (eg. lifting/carrying technique etc)
      6. Cortisone injection
      7. Surgery to release the tendon sheath ( if all else fails.. hopefully not though!)

      Mark

      Reply
  14. The first illustration of neutral wrist position for typing on a keyboard is weird and arguably incorrect. It would be very awkward if attempted in real life, as one would have to weirdly bring their forearms in parallel, very close to each other, and not only that’s unnatural, but it would then force some needless and uncomfortable pronation of the hands, as the keyboard is flat, not a “mound”.

    A correct illustration would have the hands aligned with the forearms, as is probably what is really intended to illustrate, but the forearms wouldn’t be perfectly parallel to each other, but rather about the same angle that the hands are in the second illustration of an incorrect position.

    It doesn’t matter that the wrist or fingers don’t touch the keys in parallel to the straight angle of the rectangular keys; you can of course touch then at an angle, just as if the keyboard was one of those ergonomic models that are split in half, with each side and positioned at an ergonomic angle.

    I feel that the the natural angle is about the same angle that the inclined key “column” for each finger is aligned. The keys T, F, and C, for the index finger of the left hand, and the keys Y, J and M for the index finger of the right hand (on a QWERTY keyboard). Imagine lines crossing these three keys at their center, and align your forearms and hands with that. But while the left hand stands more still the whole time, with almost only the finger-folding doing all the work of reaching the keys, the right hand is moved — ideally with elbow rotation, not wrist — to reach backspace, enter, shift, right control and the “secondary keyboards”, when required.

    Reply
    • Hey John,

      Great comment.

      And couldn’t agree with you more.

      The main thing is to maintain alignment of your forearm with the line of the wrist and fingers.

      You are definitely correct when you say that it is very uncomfortable (and unnatural) if the forearms were perfectly parallel.

      Mark

      Reply
  15. Hi Mark,

    First of all, thank you very much for all of the helpful information you provide on this great site. Now I have a question for you. I have some kind of elbow problem and I don’t know how to treat it. I’ve had it for almost a year now and it hasn’t gotten any better. I’ve been to a chiropractor and an orthopedist and they both recommended strengthening exercises, but that hasn’t worked. The main symptom is a snapping in the wrist area when I turn my arm to the supination position. There isn’t much pain unless I’m lifting a heavy weight (and btw, that’s why I’m so eager to get this cleared up, because I can’t lift weights with the condition). The orthopedist ruled out tennis elbow and said something about loose ligaments and elbow instability.

    I know you can’t diagnose the problem over the internet but maybe you can give me some general guidance here. Turning my wrist seems to make the snapping worse so I don’t know if I should do the supination exercises or not. But on the other hand, maybe that’s where the weakness lies and so that’s the area I need to strengthen. I’d really appreciate any advice you could offer on this frustrating problem. Thanks.

    Reply
    • Hi Eric,

      Can you tell me exactly where you feel the snapping sensation?

      Usually a snapping sensation is indicative of a tendon flicking over a bony prominence in your wrist.

      Looking forward to your reply.

      Mark

      Reply
      • Thanks for replying. I’m going to give you as much info as possible–I hope it’s not too much. Ok, when I turn my wrist (toward the palms up position) I feel something in the elbow but the actual snapping sound is in the wrist. The snap occurs just at the point where your hand would be if you were giving a thumbs up. After that I’m able to continue the rotation until my palm is up without any trouble. And it’s not usually painful. However, heavy lifting and excessive snapping (if I turn my wrist repeatedly over a period of time) can cause a little pain. Also, when I do feel pain it’s in the elbow, not the wrist.
        I think you nailed it with your observation about the tendon on the bony prominence. After reading that I tried turning my wrist while applying pressure (with the other hand) at that point and the snapping didn’t happen. So I think that’s where it’s catching. I don’t know if it makes a difference or not but on me those bones are REALLY prominent.
        Ok, I hope this doesn’t overcomplicate things but I should probably mention this too. When I went to the chiropractor a few months ago she noticed that the OTHER arm was snapping a little too. Well, I had never even noticed it and I just chalked it up to the normal snaps and cracks of the body. But then over the next few weeks I started turning the wrist occasionally just to see what would happen and little by little I started developing the SAME PROBLEM in that arm too! So now both arms snap (although the one that’s been bad for longer is a lot worse). Anyway, that’s why I’m not sure if the supination exercises are good to do in my condition. It seems like rotating my wrist too many times was one the main causes of the condition developing in my other arm.
        I’ve been doing wrist and arm curls and ball squeezing to no avail. I started out with a 3 lb weight and have recently dropped it to 1 lb. I’ve been keeping it in a brace at night too. Nothing helps. So what I’m thinking is maybe the supination exercises are what I need to do. But I don’t know. Maybe that’ll just make it worse. Anyway, I’m sorry if I overloaded you with too much info. Thank you very much for taking the time to read this and respond. And if it’s something that you just can’t help me with, I still appreciate your time.
        By the way, I know my problem isn’t as serious as other peoples’ are, but I think the repeated snapping could lead to something serious down the road (like arthritis). Also, I can’t do much weight lifting now and I’m really skinny and want to bulk up lol.

      • Mark, just to save you some time in your reply I want to update you on my condition. Thanks to your brilliant internet diagnosis–and I don’t mean that sarcastically–I think I’m on my way to getting this thing fixed. After reading your reply the other day I did a little online research and came to the conclusion that I have tendonitis. I watched some videos on youtube showing some stretching and self-massage techniques and after only a day of trying them I already notice some improvement (snapping isn’t as frequent). If you know of anything else that might help I’d love to hear it.
        By the way, you should give yourself a big pat on the back for figuring out what was wrong with me. I was examined IN PERSON by a chiropractor and an orthopedist and they apparently had no clue what was going on. (I guess they’re just boneheads–pun intended lol) Anyway I REALLY appreciate your help with this. It’s very kind and generous of you to take time out of your busy day and help complete strangers for free (I mean, I think it’s free. Will I be billed for this? lol)

  16. amazing!!!!!

    I have a little question when i went to my physio she told me my golfer elbow (i have it for 2 years(i tried resting it for more then 6 month)) she told the reason for mt golfer elbow (and started to have tennis elbow latley) is due to rotator cuff and the weak sacpula could you make videos how to work on this area properly cuse i dont have a clue.

    Thank you.

    Reply
    • Hi Eduard,

      The best starting point I would suggest for you is to work on your posture first.

      Reason: It will place your scapula muscles in the correct position so that they can function optimally. If your shoulder muscles are working properly, then your elbow muscles don’t have to work so hard.

      Have a look at this post here:https://posturedirect.com/sitting-posture/. It will go through the basics of what good posture should look like.

      Hope this helps!

      Reply

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