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HomeMassageCan’t Straighten Your Elbow With out Ache? The Resolution is Right here

Can’t Straighten Your Elbow With out Ache? The Resolution is Right here

An image of a female massage therapist cradling her elbow, to illustrate the concept of elbow pain in massage therapists.

Any therapeutic massage therapist who has ever felt ache of their physique is aware of all too properly the way it siphons the enjoyment out of giving a therapeutic massage. Elbow ache could also be one of many prime inconveniences throughout work, as a result of the ache is there at nearly each stroke.

Elbow ache can happen on both the within or exterior of the elbow. As soon as the explanation for the ache is recognized, steps to therapeutic can start.

Causes of Elbow Ache

The ache within the elbow is brought on by overuse or as a result of the muscular tissues surrounding the elbow joint weren’t robust sufficient. Each lateral epicondylitis (exterior elbow ache) and medial epicondylitis (inside elbow ache) take time to materialize and will not go away as rapidly as they appeared to seem.

Therapeutic massage therapists who develop elbow ache often have three repetitive actions or habits that induced the elbow ache.

These are: supination of the forearm throughout a stroke, wrist flexion, and greedy with drive.

1. Forearm Supination

Supination of the forearm isn’t required in lots of therapeutic massage strokes. There could also be instances you supinate whereas performing petrissage or kneading, however when utilizing good physique mechanics, there isn’t a purpose to repeatedly supinate the forearm throughout a stroke.

Whenever you do, the repetitive supination, particularly with strain, results in irritation of the tendons across the elbow.

Therapeutic massage therapists typically supinate and flex the wrists for a double whammy.

Takeaway: Strokes ending with palms up imply you’ve gotten supinated and are placing strain on the elbow.

2. Wrist Flexion

Any time you flex your wrists throughout a stroke, pressure is placed on the tendons of the elbow.

Image sitting on the head of the therapeutic massage desk along with your consumer supine. Whereas engaged on the neck, it’s common to carry the consumer’s head in your arms. This implies your arms are in a supinated place. That is the primary warning, however by itself not terribly problematic.

Subsequent image how you utilize your arms to work across the base of the cranium, to friction the sub-occipital muscular tissues, or to elongate the neck. In case you bend your wrists the flexors of the forearm contract. Bent wrists put extra strain on the elbow, then add the burden of a consumer’s head and the truth that your arms are supinated and there’s a recipe for elbow ache.

It’s value noting, flexed wrists typically occur concurrently with flexed fingers. Each actions contract the muscular tissues of the forearm. When these muscular tissues aren’t robust, elbow ache happens.

Takeaway: When you are utilizing petrissage, remember that your wrists are staying impartial.

3. Greedy with Pressure

With petrissage and kneading, there are some greedy actions with the arms. The issue arises when forceful greedy is used.

The scooping movement with a side-to-side petrissage is an appropriate therapeutic massage stroke however not for use for deep strain.

When kneading, intention to knead with out loads of strain as a result of the greedy actions required to knead a muscle places a pressure on the flexors of the forearms, which may result in elbow ache. At all times knead with wrists in a impartial place.

When deeper strain is required, strive wringing or compression to stop elbow ache.

Takeaway: The extra strain you want, the less transferring joints there must be.

Heal Your Elbow Ache

All three of those actions, when occurring regularly, might result in irritation of the tendons of the elbow inflicting ache for therapeutic massage therapists.

With the suitable care and a bit of strengthening, you may heal your elbow ache and make certain elbow ache by no means returns. The approaches to elbow ache we are going to take a look at listed below are: relaxation, ice, therapeutic massage, topical ache relievers, taping and strengthening.


The principle factor to heal elbow ache is resting it. Stopping the motion that induced the ache is step one. Discover if you’re utilizing any of the above-mentioned actions throughout your therapeutic massage.

It isn’t sensible to cease working for six to 12 weeks; nonetheless, by noticing the actions that trigger the ache, you may start to change your therapeutic massage strokes to permit your elbows time to relaxation.

Transfer in the direction of utilizing the arms and fingers much less to present the forearm muscular tissues a break.

Use this time to develop your abilities with forearms, elbows and fists in your therapeutic massage strokes.


One of many issues that can assist your elbow ache in the beginning is making use of ice to the realm. Common ice cubes in a plastic bag work however my favourite is a reusable gel pack from the pharmacy. Search for one which comes with a sleeve to insert the ice pack into with a Velcro strap connected. These make icing easy as you go about different actions.

Therapeutic massage

Self-massage is feasible to heal your elbow ache quicker. Listed below are some strategies therapeutic massage therapists have reported working for his or her elbow ache:

• Light friction the place the tendon attaches to the bone.

• Pin and stretch. Shifting the elbow joint and wrist in separate pins.

• Ice therapeutic massage instantly over the ache level.

• Gradual stripping of forearm muscular tissues distal to proximal (towards the infected a part of the elbow)

Topical Ache Relievers.

Analgesics and important oils with anti-inflammatory properties could also be useful to handle elbow ache.


Take into account taping your elbow whilst you aren’t at work, as a result of some elbow tapings require a lot of the forearm to be coated in tape. Forearm taping doesn’t meet sanitary measures for a day of massaging purchasers except you may put on the tape in an space that gained’t come into contact with purchasers.


Therapeutic massage therapists have to raise heavy heads and limbs throughout classes, so getting stronger enables you to work longer.

Constructing energy is a should to getting your elbow ache higher and ensuring it doesn’t return. Weak point is an element making the physique inclined to overuse damage.

As soon as the acute stage of irritation is calmed down, by utilizing the self-care listed above, it’s time to start workout routines.

A resistance band is an effective option to start gaining energy within the forearm muscular tissues. Each wrist flexion and extension towards resistance are useful for elbow ache. Together with rows, bicep curls, and tricep extensions.

When the resistance band feels simple, holding a dumbbell for the workout routines is the following step.

Holding 5- to 10-pound dumbbells whereas exercising, offers you grip energy. Holding the dumbbells trains the muscular tissues and tendon attachments to hold a load, which prepares the physique for massaging a number of purchasers.

At all times practice your muscular tissues for the workload of purchasers you see and keep away from a steep sudden enhance within the variety of massages you carry out.

Therapeutic massage On

Hold these causes and cures for elbow ache in thoughts and share with a pal so we’re all massaging with wholesome elbows.

[Watch a free webinar: Best Body Mechanics with Angela Lehman, The FitMT, here.]

Angela Lehman

Concerning the Writer

Angela Lehman is a therapeutic massage therapist of 25 years turned on-line educator, selling health and vitamin for therapeutic massage therapists. She runs The Match MT. Together with her kinesiology diploma specialised in vitamin, she trains therapists in wholesome consuming, train and physique mechanics to lengthen their careers. Search to learn her The Match MT column on matters together with physique mechanicsintestine well being and extra.


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