Training & Nutrition - Cycling and Tennis Elbow
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08-16-06, 06:55 AM
I've seemingly developed a case of tennis elbow (so my doc says). I don't play tennis. I don't do anything that is "repetitive motion". The only things that I do are cycle and pick up my son. Now I've read somewhere that picking up infants can cause tennis elbow, but I'm wondering if anyone out there in BikeForumCyberLand has had a case a tennis elbow brought on by cycling, and what it was that occassioned the onslaught?
I'm on a regimen of treatment (naproxen and an elbow brace), but I'm trying to narrow down the causes so I don't continue to make the problem worse.
Back in '00 after 3 yrs of riding 7500 to 8200 miles per year, I had one elbow, then the other (IIRC right was first) get involved with tennis elbow, which I felt had to be due to all that road riding on a 3x9 set up on a drop bar. Tennis elbow is from strongly gripping objects while repetitively manipulating. You grip the bars and rotate the shifters or grab the brakes. Mine gradually went away with spending about 40-50% of my time on a recumbent, and dropping the mileage to 3500-4200mi for the next few yrs (had to reduce for other reasons). Classic way to get tennis elbow, is gripping a tennis racket and whaling away at the ball. Lots of hammering, wrenching or anything where you grip strongly enough not to drop something while manipulating will do it in the susceptible. Takes a few months to 6mo to go away and heal in my experience with two episodes 25yrs apart.
08-20-06, 08:51 PM
I developed lateral epicondylitis about 9 months into cycling. I also play bass and spend most of my work hours at a keyboard. My physical therapist said the combination of all of these things just put it over the top; he had me back off of everything for a few weeks, cycling for even longer (braking was particularly problematic and, well...pretty hard to avoid!). In addition to the physical therapy (massage, light weight & stretching exercises), he gave me some strengthening exercises to do and now I am much more conscious of taking work breaks and proper positioning of my wrists & hands during all of these activities. It's been well over a year now, no problems. I think it's pretty easy to develop and cycling does seem to at least aggravate the condition.
Tennis elbow generally comes from the tendons and ligaments around the elbow rubbing on the bone and fraying and becoming inflamed. Any activity that could cause this rubbing (lifting, vibrations from holding the handlebars while riding, etc.) can cause it. it's is most commonly going to come from a repetitive use situation, but not always. If you had your hands and arm in just the right positions, it can occur with anything that can jar the elbow. It can be amazingly painful! Generally rest is about the only real "cure."
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