Can I Run with Tennis Elbow or Golfer's Elbow?

Can I run with tennis elbow or golfer's elbow?

Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, and golfer's elbow (medial epicondylitis) afflicts over 3 million people per year.

Anyone who performs repetitive movements with their arms – such as weight lifters, gamers, gardeners, computer users and more – is at risk of tennis elbow or golfer's elbow pain.

Tennis elbow and golfer's elbow is a result of microscopic tears in the forearm tendon caused by overuse of the arm. This leads to pain at the elbow, aggravation in the tendon and gradual degeneration of the tendon. You’ll likely feel it when you’re doing the activity that brought it on (like raking or exercising), as well as when you’re trying to turn a doorknob, carry a grocery bag, brush your teeth, shake hands, button your shirt and more.

Treatment can help, and physical therapy is commonly recommended. Even better, the new Fiix Elbow device from Stā Active automates a proven physical therapy technique for home use, saving you time and money and eliminating hassle. You can follow the regimen at your convenience, based on your schedule.

What’s also great is that you can continue being active throughout the Fiix Elbow protocol, provided that you’re not experiencing significant pain when using your upper body. While rest can be helpful for recovery, physical activity, as tolerated, increases circulation to the forearm tendon and thereby promotes healing.

Of course, you may need to temporarily eliminate some activities during treatment if they are too painful. But exercise provides a host of physical and mental health benefits, so it’s possible to keep working out with tennis elbow and golfer's elbow, potentially with modifications so you don’t worsen the injury.

Can I Run with Tennis Elbow?

Many runners just want to run, regardless of injuries – especially those that don’t affect their lower body. You can run with tennis elbow and golfer's elbow, but given constant movement of the arm in a bent position, you should practice the following:

  1. Maintain good form, with an upright posture, shoulders down and relaxed, core engaged and head up
  2. Keep a loose bend of about 90 degrees at the elbows, without clenching fists, and holding wrists neutral
  3. Use a natural, easy swing from the shoulders; don’t pump arms vigorously (skip racewalking!)
  4. Hold the arms tucked into your sides, moving front to back, and not crossing them over your chest
  5. Keep the hands down, almost grazing your hip
  6. If needed, try wearing a strap or light brace for external support of the elbow

Lastly, when you’re running with tennis elbow or golfer's elbow, don’t try to go for a PR; this is simply a maintenance phase until you’ve recovered. Slow down or stop if you’re in pain, and if you still need a cardio fix, try a hiking, biking, stairclimbing, swimming or jumping on a fitness trampoline.


Rusty Wallman MPT, ATC

Owner of Orthopedic & Sports Rehab Physical Therapy Clinics. Specializes in elbow, shoulder, knee and hip injuries. Graduate of the Mayo School of Health and Sciences.

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