5 Key Moves: How to Foam Roll to Prevent Tennis Elbow

What is tennis elbow? OrthoInfo describes the condition in the following way:

"Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, is a painful condition of the elbow caused by overuse. Not surprisingly, playing tennis or other racquet sports can cause this condition. However, several other sports and activities can also put you at risk."

When the tendons become inflamed from over-use, tennis elbow may result. The pain will be located on the outside of the elbow, as shown in the simplified diagram directly below. (Fear not! We'll hone in on the real-deal anatomical diagrams in a little bit!)

foam rolling tennis elbow

Various treatment options are available and can include: rest, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, steroid injections, wearing a brace, shock wave therapy, and if needed, surgery. The cause of the pain might also be related to the equipment you are using, and by modifying your equipment, the pain will subside. 

Here at Rist Roller® we would like to encourage you to try a physical therapy approach to treatment, before taking more extreme measures. Our products are being used by physical therapists and their patients, with positive results. You can perform self massage for tennis elbow.

Self Massage for Tennis Elbow

Stack.com recently shared an article by Dr. Rubina Tahir called “Prevent Common Tennis Injuries with 5 Foam-Rolling Exercises," which featured our soft foam rollers.

foam rolling to prevent tennis elbow - palm rolling

Shown: Foam rolling palms (selfmassage) to prevent tennis elbow
Photo credit: Dr. Rubina Tahir

Dr. Tahir notes:

“Tennis players make a wide variety of shots, all engaging their forearm, wrist and hand. To offset the high force absorbed by the upper body, perform these five foam rolling exercises. This routine assists the main muscles controlling movement in tennis to help players avoid common injuries such as tennis elbow and general wrist and forearm pain.”


The 5 recommended self massage exercises include wrist extensors, wrist flexors, pronators, supinators, and palms. With a mini foam roller, roll over the muscle or muscle group, taking time to focus on any tight spots that you notice. We've included reference diagrams below so you will know exactly where to foam roll and exactly which muscles to target. If you prefer to see the mini foam roller in use, we have an ever-growing library of videos on how to foam roll forearms, wrists, palms, and more. 

1. Foam roll your wrist extensors to prevent injury. Focus on the extensor carpi radialis longus and extensor carpi radialis brevis, shown below:

2. Use a mini foam roller to roll out your flexor carpi radialis:

Flexor carpi radialis foam roll

3. Next, roll out your protonator quadratus muscle. This is the muscle that allows you to flex your wrist:


4.  Roll out your supinator:


5. Roll out your entire palm:

Source: CFCF (Creative Commons)

Rist Roller® foam-rolling products can be used with each of these exercises, to learn more about self massage techniques that incorporate mini foam rollers, click here.

Laura Kevlin, an Occupational Therapist in California, offers her input about the use of Rist Roller® products:

"I am an Occupational Therapist who works with many patients who have orthopedic issues from broken bones to ligament tears. I have recently purchased a physician approved medical device which has significantly helped many of my patients alleviate pain and expedite the speed of their recovery. The Rist Roller®,  a simple foam roller perfectly designed to target the muscles in the forearm, is an easy to use device which can be used on many ailments from sore muscles to carpal tunnel pain. The simple back and forth motion of the Rist Roller® can stimulate sensory input to the forearm and hand, increasing blood flow while targeting and releasing muscular tension and increasing range of motion following surgery. This device has enabled many of my patients to continue outpatient therapy in their own homes."
Patients are finding that our products are an affordable option for in-office and at-home treatment plans. We encourage you and your health professional to consider Rist Roller® first! If you have questions or comments about Rist Roller®, please let us know. We are here to help! To find out more about the 2-pack of mini foam rollers (soft), click here.
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