Elbow Pain When Extending

Two elbow exercises to help reduce pain when extending your arm

Do you feel elbow pain when extending your arm or moving your wrist? If you answered yes, then you may have a condition called lateral epicondylitis. 

This condition is more commonly known as tennis elbow, and it occurs when a forearm muscle tendon in the elbow is inflamed or injured. Annually, up to 3% of the U.S. population develops tennis elbow. Stretching your forearm muscles can help reduce elbow pain when extending your arm, and physical therapists can show you therapeutic exercises that can help you reduce your pain, such as: 

  1. Forearm extensor stretch

This stretch can be very effective at reducing elbow pain you feel when extending your arm, because it’s designed to target the forearm extensor muscles that attach to tendons on the outside of your elbow. 

How to do the forearm extensor stretch

  • Tuck the affected elbow against your side and bend it to about 90 degrees with your palm facing down. 
  • Make a fist, and then bend your wrist down toward the floor. 
  • Keep your wrist bent as you slowly straighten your elbow. 
  • Then, twist your fist away from your body until you feel a stretch in your forearm. 
  • Hold this stretch for 20 to 30 seconds. 
  • Repeat the stretch two to four times. 
  1. Wrist pronation stretch

Another exercise your therapist may recommend to reduce pain when extending your elbow is the wrist pronation stretch. It can be helpful because it stretches forearm pronation muscles that attach to the outside of your elbow.

How to do the wrist pronation stretch

  • Place your forearm flat on a desk or table with your palm facing up.
  • Allow your hand and wrist to extend over the edge of the surface. 
  • Slowly rotate your wrist outward, with your palm still facing up, until you feel a stretch in your forearm. 
  • Hold this stretch for 10 to 15 seconds. 
  • Rest for a few seconds, and then repeat the stretch until you’ve completed five or six repetitions. 

Feeling pain when extending your elbow? SOL PT can help!

Fed up with feeling pain every time you extend your arm? Our physical therapists at SOL Physical Therapy can help you find effective treatment for your pain. We can do a complete evaluation of your elbow to determine the cause of your pain. Additionally, our team excels at building customized therapy programs designed to reduce pain and prevent future elbow issues. Even better, you can get elbow treatment from home with our virtual therapy service. 

Contact our team today for more information about our elbow pain treatment service or to schedule an initial appointment. 

About the author

Sports + Orthopedic Leaders Physical Therapy & Performance Training serves the communities of Oakland, Alameda, Berkeley, Walnut Creek, Orinda, San Francisco and beyond. SOLPT’s award winning team of Physical Therapists, Performance Coaches and movement experts has helped thousands reach their rehabilitation and performance goals to move beyond pain. We're committed to helping anyone of any fitness level move effectively and more powerfully for a lifetime. We offer rehabilitation and performance services to all populations, with specialties in Sports Rehabilitation, Active Release Techniques, and Manual Therapy Techniques plus Personal and Small Group Training, Sport Clinics and Wellness Services.