As an athlete, it’s important to understand how to effectively stretch to prepare the muscles and tendons for exertion. According to orthopedic physicians at the CORE Institute, when athletes stretch, they lessen the likelihood of several muscle sprains and injuries. However, even with proper stretching, injuries are sometimes prone to happen. The following information explains a few of the most common athletic injuries and a few rehabilitative exercises designed to alleviate the discomfort.
Tennis elbow is a term used to describe the condition athletes experience when they overuse their forearm, upper arm, and hand muscles. The following tennis elbow exercises are designed to be a part of the rehabilitative process.
1) Wrist Extensor Stretch
To perform this exercise, the individual must straighten their arm completely out and push the palm of the hand down. The patient should feel the muscles across their forearm being stretched.
2) Finger Extension
With the finger extension exercise, all of the fingers are placed together as if making a beak. Then, a rubber band is placed over the fingers. The athlete must move their fingers against the resistance of the rubber band.
Rotator Cuff Tendonitis
Rotator cuff tendonitis, swimmer’s shoulder, tennis shoulder, or pitcher’s shoulder is when the muscles and tendons required to move the shoulder joint become irritated or inflamed. The following rotator cuff tendonitis exercises are designed to be a part of the rehabilitation process.
1) The Pendulum
The patient starts by bending over a table at the waste with their good arm on the table for support. Then, lightly swing the injured arm in mini circles, while keeping the arm relaxed.
2) Supine Alphabet
The patient lies flat on their back and lifts their arm toward the sky, while the arm is next to the side of the body and folded onto the chest. With the injured arm, the patient should trace six-inch letters in the air only using their arm and shoulder movement. Avoid any movement from the wrist, elbow, hand or fingers. Two sets of alphabet should be completed twice a day.
Achilles tendonitis is an injury resulting from the overuse of the Achilles tendon. In most cases, runners who instantly increase their running distance can suffer from this injury. In any case, the following Achilles tendonitis exercises are designed to decrease the pain and inflammation resulting from the injury.
1) Toe Stretch
The patient starts by sitting in a chair and extending the injured leg outward with the heel on the floor. The patient then pulls the big toe back away from the floor.
2) Calf-Plantar Fascia Stretch
The patient starts siting with their knees straight and legs extended. They must then loop a towel around the injured leg and position it directly under the toes. With one end of the towel in each hand and the hands above the knees, the patient should pull the towel back stretching the foot toward the patient’s chest.