David R. Beatty and Camilia Makyhoun

David R. Beatty, DO, Professor of Osteopathic Principles and Practice, WVSOM

Camilia Makyhoun, Assistant Editor, WVSOM Class of 2016

Monday, March 18, 2013


Wrist extensor muscle tenderness (WVSOM)

Whether or not from the sport, lateral elbow pain from strain of the wrist extensor muscles is a common and self-treatable problem if you can restore normal movement and avoid the repetitive arm use that caused it.

DOCTOR'S NOTE: Seek evaluation by a health professional if your elbow pain is associated with banging the arm, hand numbness, or arm weakness.

Wrist extensor position of ease
  1. Sit with the involved arm resting on a table or counter and your palm facing upward;
  2. Place a small pillow or rolled up towel under the wrist and allow your hand to fall back over it;
  3. If still painful, add a second pillow under the forearm;
  4. When comfortable, take a few deep breaths and rest in that position for 2-5 minutes;
  5. Slowly turn the hand over and proceed to the WRIST EXTENSOR STRETCH;
  6. Repeat this position of ease 2-4 times a day or as needed for pain relief.

Wrist extensor stretch

  1. Sit with the involved elbow resting on a pillow, the arm straight, and your hand hanging off the table or chair arm with palm facing downward;
  2. Use your other hand to slowly bend the hand downward as far as it will comfortably go;
  3. Take a few deep breaths and stretch for  10-20 seconds;
  4. If no increase in pain and the elbow is still stiff, proceed to the RADIAL HEAD MOBILIZATION;
  5. Do this stretch 2-4 times a day.


  1. Stand with the involved elbow bent with the fist facing your upper chest;
  2. Rapidly straighten the elbow as far as it will go by throwing the hand forward as you turn the fist to face upward;
  3. Repeat 2-3 times if needed;
  4. Do this self mobilization up to twice a day.

1 comment:

  1. Tennis elbow treatment is most often successful. The most important part of treatment is tendon rest. A long rest from aggravating activity allows the small tears in the tendon to heal. Depending on how severe your condition is, you may need to rest your tendon for weeks to months. Surgery is a last resort if other treatment isn't helpful.