Bad Elbows or Bad Choices?

Bad Elbows or Bad Choices?

By Ross Ashcraft

Let’s start with a question:  Why must we always wait until our hands and elbows are killing us before we do something besides taking a pill?  This week let’s get ahead of the game with a little prevention.

Elbows are a funny looking body part.  From the back they are loose folds of skin.  From the front they are a big crease in our arm.  We use our elbows all the time but rarely even think about them except when we somehow hit our funny bone.  Like most body parts we rarely attend to them unless they force us. 

A common complaint in the elbow is called Tennis Elbow.  It is caused by injuries to the muscles on the medial portion of your elbow.  This is the side that is closest to your body when your hands are at your side with your palms facing out.  Another common injury is Golfer’s Elbow.  It is caused by injury to the muscles on the other side of the elbow.  Both of them are typically caused by overusing them in the sports we play and the professional we work.  Obviously tennis and golf players are prone to these injuries.  But there is a long list of professions that are also at risk:  waiters, massage therapists, janitors, estheticians, construction workers, farmers, and anybody who types or sits at a computer all day or in general works with their hands.

After we use them all day, our wonderful bodies will repair all those injuries while we sleep…if they are equipped by us.  We don’t tell children “learn to read” and then deny them books.  We don’t require an employee to do a job and then deny them access to the tools they’ll need to do it.  Give your body what it needs and you’ll be amazed what it can handle.

Athletes and people who wish to prevent problems should try this technique before they begin their activities.  But if your body is already sending you message you need to do this right before you sleep!  So the body and repair itself properly.


1.  Shake out your elbows and wrists for 10 seconds

2.  Bend your elbows and wrists for another 10 seconds

3.  Grip your forearm right below your elbow:  Use medium pressure

4.  While Gripping:  flex and extend your elbow for 10 seconds

5.  While Gripping:  pronate and supinate your elbow for 10 seconds:  As shown below

6.  Repeat on the other arm

7.  Shake them both out one last time for 10 seconds

Try it out and comment about your impressions!

However, if you get a numb or burning sensation please discontinue and consider mentioning it to your doctor.

16 thoughts on “Bad Elbows or Bad Choices?”

  1. I do something like this at work so I do hurt threw the night. I learned when I was in school that I have to keep my muscles liking me or I won’t be doing anything

  2. I just did the exercise and my elbows feel great!! I didn’t realize that my elbows were hurting until now,the pain is gone! Thanks Ross!

  3. Good advise for us soon to be massage therapists and another good “homework assignment” for our clients! Thanks Ross.

  4. I hate and love this at the same time because it pushes beyond that “hurts so good” feeling and can just plain hurt! I forget that I should be taking better care of my elbows also and need to keep coming back to this. Thanks for the reminder!

  5. I tried this during my break at work and before I went to bed before another long day and it really helped release the pain in my arms. I dont usually stretch my arms or anything so this was really cool to try

  6. Works great after doing yard and garden work most of the day. Will try right before bad as well. Thanks

  7. That’s a good technique. I love the detail. I plan on useing it to prevent elbow discomfort or any elbow injuries.

  8. After doing my homework (typing, writing, clicking mouse) I was using muscles I didnt even know I was using but this excercise gave them a nice feeling after all that hard work. Good, easy client homework as well.

  9. Every time I pronate and supinate I hear a loud popping noise. It actually feels like it may come from my wrist. My elbow has never had problems, but I have always had trouble with my wrists and hands. I did this right before heading to bed. My elbows feel fine, but my forearms and wrists feel tired. I hope I feel a lot better when I wake up.

  10. I really liked this! it defiantly felt like there was more circulation! I will use this as client homework!

  11. I tried this and it really works. I get numb fingers a lot and this seems to help and since ive been doing it I get it less and less. Thanks

  12. I did this before bed last night after being on the computer and I could definitely tell a difference. My elbows felt great after! Thanks Ross!