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s-creek-rider 12-18-04 05:34 AM

Elbow Tendonitis has wrecked my commuting!

I had been commuting to work each day (26 total km/day) when severe elbow tendonitis flared up - I guess gripping the handlebars really aggravated the tendons). Anyways, its so frustrating when you begin to embrace commuting to work by bike, it becomes a real joy and passion, and you then find that you arent able to do it because of the injury. Further, if I am impatient with treatment of the tendonitis, and beging to ride too soon, I;ll re-injure the elbow, and it will be even longer before I can ride to work again!! And, my wife just bought me a new Trek for Christmas!!

Anyone else with injuries which keep them for riding their beloved bike???

MichaelW 12-18-04 05:59 AM

I had a saddle sore that kept me off the bike for weeks. I hated it.
Give the elbow some rest. Think over your whole riding position and style. See peter white cycles for his fitting advice.
If this is a chronic complaint, maybe its time to embrace the Dark Side and get a recumbent.

Nightshade 12-18-04 10:13 AM

This injury is often treated with a compression band worn
on the your forearm. Are you wearing one??

ukmtk 12-18-04 10:13 AM

One thing that has helped my back pain is doing appropriate stretching. I got the stretch excercises from an old cycling book. I try to do them each night before bed.

I recently started taking glucosamine sulphate on a regular basis. It is supposed to help with joint problems and may even slowup the onset of arthritis too!

GeezerGeek 12-18-04 12:48 PM

Try a recumbent with USS. You can just dangle your arms. No more sore arms, hands, neck, back, or butt.

tulip 12-18-04 01:34 PM

A part from the recumbent route, which comes highly recommended, be sure to check your position and your riding habits. I see people riding with straight arms, due to ignorance or poor bike fit, and I say, OUCH. Do you bend your elbows when you ride?

Good luck and get well soon!

kurremkarm 12-18-04 02:19 PM

My knee was bothering me until i was fitted correctly. You do something wrong and it messes u up. I don't know what ur history is with ur injury but correct fit will either eliminate this problem or help it a lot.

I'm sure this won't stop u from riding.

RegularGuy 12-18-04 03:04 PM

I suffer tennis elbow too. The suggestions to check your position are sound. You might want to raise your handlebars. You might also want to change the type of handlebar you are using. If you are using a flat bar, try a curved road bar which allows more hand positions. Or vice-versa. Mostly you don't want to put too much weight on your hands with your wrists bent. Bend your elbows and keep your wrists straight.

Also, be sure to wear padded gloves to absorb some of the road shock.

Do you grip the handlebars tightly? If so, relax. You should be able to "play piano" on the bars while you ride.

The compression straps that were mentioned are helpful. I've worn them. I also use Alleve (Naproxen) for pain relief.

Rest and anti-inflammatory meds will help clear up the problem. Adjusting your position and riding habits will help prevent it from recurring.

Good luck.

supcom 12-18-04 04:35 PM

I had a bout of tendonitis recently. In my case it appered to be golfer's elbow (pain on the inside of the elbow. Got progressively worse over about a week. Fortunately, I went on vacation over Thanksgiving which gave it a rest. Since then it's slowly improved. The only other thing I did for it was take ibuprofen.

I can't see any specific reason for getting it. I've been riding the same bikes for a long time and haven;t changed anything. Just one of those things, I guess.

sbhikes 12-18-04 06:04 PM

The Dark Side? I love my recumbent. It's so much fun. I have no health or weight problems that drove me to the Dark Side, but I can see how if you did, recumbent would be the way to go. They are as comfy as they say.

late 12-18-04 07:06 PM

submitted for your consideration...
1) Specialized Bar Phat- it's a cool pad, goes under the tape
2) larger tire, lower pressure, smoother ride. Get your pressure under 100 pounds for a while.
3) raise the stem, do it now, do it later, you will eventually or be forced off the bike
4) After you get this under control, do arm and back exercises so your arms (and body) can absorb the shock making life a little easier on your joints. You prob know all this, I give everybody the same speech :)
5) I really like my $60 Ritchey Biomax bar, it absorbs shock.

Dahon.Steve 12-18-04 09:10 PM

Originally Posted by velogirl
A part from the recumbent route, which comes highly recommended, be sure to check your position and your riding habits. I see people riding with straight arms, due to ignorance or poor bike fit, and I say, OUCH. Do you bend your elbows when you ride?

Good luck and get well soon!

You hit the nail on the head. I changed saddle the other day and the new one was slightly higher. As a result, my arms were straight causing pain just like the original poster. I lowered the saddle about 2 cm and the pain went almost away. It's gone now but I did not wait until it became an injury before doing something.

If lowering the saddle doesn't work, he may need to buy a smaller stem and handlebar.

Lra0x 12-19-04 01:33 PM

Had the same thing - It was so painful I could not pick up anything or squezze my hand into a fist = wore the brace and took lots of motrin and iced it every day - i's all gone now - still rode every day - I just tried to keep my weight on my lefy arm - the good one - good luck with it - keep us posted. Kev

OhiOH 12-20-04 08:18 AM

Hey s-creek,
I had this problem last winter. My right elbow got so bad I couldnít even pick up a 6-pack. Then I decided it was the grip shifters and switched to the thumb/trigger shifters and the pain went away within a few weeks. This winter (I ride a road bike in the summer) Iíve had zero pain. You didnít say what sort of setup you had, but thought Iíd post this for others who may have a similar problem.

Jessica 12-20-04 09:06 AM

The advice I might give has already been posted, but I have/had tennis elbow and nintendo thumb also. A light grip, more like a light touch on the handlebars helps a lot. I even make fists and rest my knuckles on the handlebars, to make for my wrists a neutral position. Also, change up, every few minutes change your hand position.

Applehead57 12-20-04 11:35 AM

Ditto the riding postion.
Try adjusting to a position that leaves you more upright, i.e. less weight on your arms.
Nashbar has a cheap adjustable stem that gives you alot of possible combinations.
I've found it useful in making my harsh aluminum bike more comfortable.

max-a-mill 12-20-04 01:21 PM

Originally Posted by Jessica
I have/had tennis elbow and nintendo thumb also.

rotflmao: nintendo thumb..... :D

don't let a video game thumb keep you off of the bike!

bnet1 12-20-04 01:53 PM

When I rode my road bike I got a "tennis elbow" type injury from using the bars as leverage while climbing. (I generally stayed seated unless the hill was really steep). It took a long time to heal. I'm now 'bent and all of the little roadbike aches and pains are now gone. Forever banished. I think sbhikes summed it up quite well. The "darkside"? Nah! We've just seen the light! He He.

'bent Brian

Jessica 12-21-04 09:42 AM

No, I quit video games when I figured out what was making my hands hurt. Besides, biking is always more fun!!

PALux 12-21-04 12:14 PM

s-creek-rider did not mention the type of bike. I am overweight and hard to size for any bike. When I walk in to a bike shop they want to put me on a cross bike. I have found that flat bars cause a number of hand and arm problems with me. I still ride my mountain bike in bad weather and my cross bike is my backup daily commuter but my daily ride is a Cannondale T2000. I have found the drop bars much more friendly to the hands and arms. Learn to relax the part that hurts when riding.

There are many good suggestions in this thread. If you have not been fitted have it done. Seat height, seat position, seat, stem length, stem height, crank arm length, suspension fork, a suspension seat post, tire size and on and on may contribute to or alleviate your problem.

Get a set of exercises from a doctor/physical the****** and use them. Good physical therapy may show that you are riding wrong. Exercises I learned 36 years ago for my back work just as well today. At first sign of pain I start exercising. The****** did tell me 36 years ago to do them daily for the rest of my life but knew I wouldnít. Said do them at the first sign of pain and it has worked for me.

I fell on ice commuting and chipped a bone in my elbow. Was put in a half cast for 30 days. 2 days no riding and I took the half cast off, put it in the sling and threw it over my back and started commuting again. I did ride easy and wear the cast when not on the bike. 26 years later and no problems.
Phil Lux

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