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Old 02-22-11, 12:55 PM   #1
Yen
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New diagnosis: Lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow)

That explains the elbow pain that started 5-6 weeks ago and worsened each week.

Back to PT to fix that... hopefully.... before re-visiting the shoulder issue.

What's next?! Life's an adventure!!

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Old 02-22-11, 03:41 PM   #2
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What's next?! Life's an adventure!!

That is a question that I learned not to ask a LONG time ago. My list... oh my list is way too long.. but you just do what you do. I hope the elbow reacts to treatment. I had to have mine released (surgery) many years ago, but it's been fine sense.

Good luck.
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Old 02-22-11, 04:12 PM   #3
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I get golfers elbow (inside) when I ride a spin bike too often. Totally goes away when I ride outside and don't spin. Some years I have it on the right elbow, some years on the left. Go figure.
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Old 02-22-11, 09:22 PM   #4
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I thought it was just one of those things that goes with bicycle riding, like my shoulders hurting like hell as well. I know that at each stop I have to hold one arm then the other up above my head and shake each a while. Lots of Tylenol helps me.

If y'all have any cures, let me know...
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Old 02-23-11, 07:41 AM   #5
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I had tennis elbow and it was really killing me - couldn't get a plate down from the cupboard with my left hand. This went on for months.

Then I got the small (red) flexbar exerciser (from here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00067E4YU ) and followed these instructions:

http://hubpages.com/hub/Flexbar-The-...t-Tennis-Elbow .

And in about a week it was cured - no kidding. It is really easy but it hurts initially because the elbow is in such pain.

It really really works!
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Old 02-23-11, 09:28 AM   #6
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I had tennis elbow and it was really killing me - couldn't get a plate down from the cupboard with my left hand. This went on for months.

Then I got the small (red) flexbar exerciser (from here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00067E4YU ) and followed these instructions:

http://hubpages.com/hub/Flexbar-The-...t-Tennis-Elbow .

And in about a week it was cured - no kidding. It is really easy but it hurts initially because the elbow is in such pain.

It really really works!
I saw that yesterday during my online research. How long did you have elbow pain before you began using it?

The doctor's prescription includes a bandit brace. I have an appointment to resume PT (where I was going for the shoulder) on Friday... they'll provide the brace, and I'll see if they show me to do anything like what you've shown here.
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Old 02-23-11, 09:58 AM   #7
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Tennis elbow can be handled by stretching the area and icing the tendon for 20 minutes on, and at least 40 minutes off. Go to a sporting goods store and get a tennis elbow strap as that will take away some of the strain. If stretching and icing doesn't work then see if your doctor will give you a cortisone shot. You'll have to take a few weeks off for it to heal, but it will get better.
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Old 02-23-11, 10:48 AM   #8
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Tennis elbow can be handled by stretching the area and icing the tendon for 20 minutes on, and at least 40 minutes off. Go to a sporting goods store and get a tennis elbow strap as that will take away some of the strain. If stretching and icing doesn't work then see if your doctor will give you a cortisone shot. You'll have to take a few weeks off for it to heal, but it will get better.
Thank you.

Not to argue, but if this is all it takes then why does the doctor automatically send me to PT? If I can treat it at home with simple things like ice, strap, and the flexbar exerciser mentioned above then why doesn't the doctor recommend that instead???

I can see it now:

Me: "Hey Doc, it's all better, and I fixed it myself at home using some treatments shared in a bike forum online! Now can we get back to treating the shoulder?"

Highly regarded sports ortho shoulder/elbow specialist Doc: "Well why don't you just consult the bike forum about that too!"
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Old 02-23-11, 10:57 AM   #9
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I just went through the 2nd round of medial epicondylitis (golfers elbow) in five years.
My doctor *did* recommend the flexbar, and in fact even sells them at his office.
He told me he just very recently began recommending them.
The PT regime also included heating the affected area.

Incidentally, there is also another treatment (whose name I forgot) for cases resistant to treatment or cortisone.
It involves drawing blood, extracting a certain component, then injecting it into the area.
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Old 02-23-11, 08:34 PM   #10
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it's called PRP therapy

Platelet Rich Plasma therapy. google it. they draw some of your blood, spin it out so it is very concentrated with platelets, then inject it into the offending tendon. it's still experimental so insurance doesn't cover it. each injection costs more or less $800. depending on the person, it might take up to three injections to work for you. or one might work. or three might not work. that's my issue with it.

how do I know? I am a good patient! my earlier replies ref my rotator cuff surgeries, both sides, 4 times. I also had the "tennis elbow" surgery two years ago. shots, ice and therapy can be effective for some people who have tendonitis. it is aggravated enough it can become tendonosis, which means all those microtears and inflamation have damaged the tendon, which now has a bunch of scar tissue on it that ain't going anywhere unless it's scalpeled out. in my case, I couldn't pick up a cup of coffee. had the surgery, five month rehab, it worked just fine.

and no I'm not a surgery nut, nor is my doctor. these surgeries were performed by three different doctors in three cities.

now my left elbow is hurting bad, two shots haven't helped. considering the PRP therapy. its the next big thing, so they say. its either PRP or surgery, the doc says. do I want to spend up to $2400 and maybe not be cured, or a few hundred on surgery co-pays for the sure thing?

all surgeries have risks, but they are rarely borne out. if you're in this thread (over 50) you probably want to resolve your injuries in months, not years. I have had tons of pre-surgery PT, none of which helped me. it does really help post-surgery though.
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Old 02-23-11, 08:44 PM   #11
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Ah, that sounds familiar!

What my doc explained to me is that while for many injuries, the inflammation its self presents problems, so treatments are needed to limit the inflammation.
in the case of tendonitis, there is the opposite problem: not enough inflammation to promote healing.
Combine that with the limited blood circulation a tendon receives, and the result is a nagging injury that doesn't want to heal.
So treatments such as heating the affected area or PRP therapy are intended to *cause* inflammation to trigger the healing process.
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Old 02-24-11, 07:14 AM   #12
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I got TE from doing some exercises at the gym. Got worse when I rode. Spoke to my dr. He recommended the ice treatment and tennis elbow strap per HIPCHIP . The strap really helped me and I wore it all day, every day for a few months, then only when I rode. It took about 6 mo but it finally went away. No fun, but there are worse things in life.
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Old 02-24-11, 07:35 AM   #13
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air cast for elbow

I was using a strap that had a small air pillow built into it. you put the pillow part just below where the tendon hurts, where it connects to the elbow. the pillow acts as a sort of fulcrum to divert the "pulling" from the elbow to the spot where the pillow is. you're right, you have to wear the thing during waking hours for months, with icing, for it to have a chance. ibuprofen also helps.
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Old 02-24-11, 08:50 AM   #14
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I saw that yesterday during my online research. How long did you have elbow pain before you began using it?

The doctor's prescription includes a bandit brace. I have an appointment to resume PT (where I was going for the shoulder) on Friday... they'll provide the brace, and I'll see if they show me to do anything like what you've shown here.
I had the pain for MONTHS before I tried the flexbar. I kept thinking it would go away with time, but it actually worsened. Of course I was skeptical at first that such a simple solution would really work, but the alternatives seemed to be medication and then surgery, so I figured I had nothing to loose. Unless the PT folks have some really good argument against it, you should try the flexbar.

In general I don't believe in anything approaching alternative medicine, but this seemed reasonable and very cheap, so I tried it. I was amazed at how quickly and completely it fixed my problem. Good luck to you!
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Old 02-27-11, 11:59 AM   #15
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I had the pain for MONTHS before I tried the flexbar. I kept thinking it would go away with time, but it actually worsened. Of course I was skeptical at first that such a simple solution would really work, but the alternatives seemed to be medication and then surgery, so I figured I had nothing to loose. Unless the PT folks have some really good argument against it, you should try the flexbar.

In general I don't believe in anything approaching alternative medicine, but this seemed reasonable and very cheap, so I tried it. I was amazed at how quickly and completely it fixed my problem. Good luck to you!
Thanks - that is pretty convincing!

I went for my first PT for the elbow. They have the Flexbars and used the red one in a different manner, not as shown in that video. I was given some stretches and a resistance band to use at home. The PT said I'll bring home a Flexbar when I have less pain.

I'm considering emailing the link about it from Flexbar.com to my PT and asking if I may try it at home on my own, and if things don't improve in, say, 2 weeks, then I'll return to their facility. I still don't know the fate of my shoulder, and if it needs surgery I'll be going back again to PT after that, and don't want to use up my yearly allowance of PT sessions on my elbow.

Traditional PT recommends ice, rest and stretches before advancing to stretches and eccentric strengthing exercises, so it's interesting that yours was cured in 1 week after months of pain by using just the Flexbar.
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Old 02-27-11, 01:24 PM   #16
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This morning, I found this: Fixing You: Shoulder & Elbow Pain.
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Old 02-28-11, 08:08 AM   #17
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Traditional PT recommends ice, rest and stretches before advancing to stretches and eccentric strengthing exercises, so it's interesting that yours was cured in 1 week after months of pain by using just the Flexbar.
Well, it might have been two weeks - I don't quite remember. But it wasn't any longer and I am completely cured. If only I could do the same thing for the tendinitis in my foot
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Old 03-03-11, 05:34 PM   #18
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I had tennis elbow a few years back.
Luckily it cleared up VERY quickly after I started doing those exercises and has never recurred- (unlike my shoulder pain which is at 9 months and counting despite my faithful adherence to my PT exercises)

Interesting that it was also on my non-dominant side....Makes me wonder if I just have some sort of structural imbalance!!
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Old 03-03-11, 07:50 PM   #19
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This morning, I found this: Fixing You: Shoulder & Elbow Pain.
Looks worthwhile. The first reviewer comments about his arm moving out of the socket jives with Johnson's book about that type of injury is the most common and responds to pt as well as it does to surgery.

I had the elbow pain with the forearm pain with the rotator cuff pain. Johnson's book cured the rotator cuff, my arm pad to adjust my wrist angle when using the mouse cured the forearm and the elbow pain just went away. I don't know if my elbow pain was associated with the rotator cuff or the forearm.

I might get the book for another perspective as I'm sure that with my age and activity level, I'll be doing some form of preventive pt from now on.

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Old 03-03-11, 08:34 PM   #20
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I had bone spurs in my right elbow as a kid from tossing newspapers 6 days a week. The cure at that time for me was ice and immobility for awhile.
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Old 03-04-11, 01:55 PM   #21
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I had tennis elbow a few years back.
Luckily it cleared up VERY quickly after I started doing those exercises and has never recurred- (unlike my shoulder pain which is at 9 months and counting despite my faithful adherence to my PT exercises)

Interesting that it was also on my non-dominant side....Makes me wonder if I just have some sort of structural imbalance!!
Which exercises did you do?

I read the following article last night while working out on the stationery bike and eliptical at the gym:
Heavy Eccentric Loading for a Recalcitrant Case of Lateral Epicondylosis in a Hockey Player: A Case Report
The more I read on this subject, the more I realize how little is understood about this type of injury. It helps to be informed but it also adds to the frustration as I wonder what will work for me, and when? The intermediate exercises from Treat Your Own Rotator Cuff are now too painful for my elbow, and some of the elbow exercises taught by PT aggravate my shoulder. Last night, I began experimenting at home with eccentric loading exercise for my elbow using a red [low] resistance band or a light weight, 3 sets of 15 reps each day (same as for the Flexbar).

Yesterday I was a hair's breadth away from pulling the trigger on the Thera-Band Flexbar but decided to wait, since that movement alone (without the Flexbar in my hands) aggravates my shoulder and causes the humerus bone to internally rotate during the movement. My PT gym uses them and will give me one later when my elbow improves, but for now I want to lay off anything that further aggravates my easily-aggravated shoulder.

Meanwhile, I eagerly await delivery today of Fixing You: Shoulder & Elbow Pain..... and keeping my chin up.
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Old 03-06-11, 06:33 PM   #22
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"Which exercises did you do?"

I can only recall a couple of exercises involving flexing my hand either up or down while pulling my fingers back towards my body. I think I had a fairly mild case of tendinitis which was caught early on and at that time I had no shoulder pain.

Now - straightening my arm and flexing my hand down makes my shoulder hurt - it would be hard for me to do that same exercise today. So I think your problem is much more complicated.

I feel for you Yen, and hope you find some relief soon.


I too bought "Treat Your Own Rotator Cuff" -- I'm anxious to hear your thoughts on "Fixing You: Shoulder & Elbow Pain"
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Old 03-06-11, 08:51 PM   #23
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For tennis elbow (TE) exercises, this site seems pretty decent: http://www.nismat.org/ptcor/tennis_elbow . My son-in-laws doctor has him squeezing a special putty ball which keeps his TE issue very subdued. That's all he does and he has no issues paddling anymore.

Though I had the symptoms of TE (concurrent with my rotator cuff issue), none of the standard exercises helped including the ball. Some made it worst. So I did a search on forearm pain. This site http://www.backandbodycare.com/home/wrist/wrist.htm convinced me that carpel tunnel and TE symptoms were very similar and maybe I really didn't have TE after all.

I made a pad to support my arm to change my wrist angle when using the mouse. It only took a few weeks for the pain to disappear completely. I then bought a more comfortable pad.

Al
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Old 03-07-11, 09:00 AM   #24
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Unless you are racing or mountain biking a recumbent bike will relieve all that pain.
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Old 03-07-11, 09:36 AM   #25
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"Which exercises did you do?"

I can only recall a couple of exercises involving flexing my hand either up or down while pulling my fingers back towards my body. I think I had a fairly mild case of tendinitis which was caught early on and at that time I had no shoulder pain.

Now - straightening my arm and flexing my hand down makes my shoulder hurt - it would be hard for me to do that same exercise today. So I think your problem is much more complicated.

I feel for you Yen, and hope you find some relief soon.


I too bought "Treat Your Own Rotator Cuff" -- I'm anxious to hear your thoughts on "Fixing You: Shoulder & Elbow Pain"
I have been doing that stretch and it hurts my shoulder if I don't support my arm, so I find other ways of doing it so my arm isn't parallel with the floor. Why do you think my problem is much more complicated?

I hope the book arrives today... it must be coming via Pony Express. It takes 2 days to get a package from here to AZ, but this has taken a full week. I will share my thoughts.
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