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Elbow Tendonitis

AndsAnds Posts: 1,437
I have a bit of tendonitis going on in my elbow (an injury sustained whilst trying to impress my children :roll: ). It doesn't really affect my riding but since it's been giving me pain for over 3 weeks, I'm wondering if riding is not doing it any good and is not helping it heal. Does anyone have any experience or advice?

Riding with my arm locked in one position for a while and then straightening it to reach for a bottle, brings on pain, as does squeezing the bottle. (And maybe all the jolting from crappy road surfaces isn't helping either?)

Any tips for healing? Is riding likely to be delaying the healing process?
Thanks

Posts

  • huuregeilhuuregeil Posts: 780
    Are you sure you have tendonitis? Tendonitis is an overuse injury and it sounds like you sustained a one-off injury while in super-dad mode :-) Likely you've strained a muscle or tendon, if it's your elbow, it's also likely to be your tricep. Massage and gentle strengthening exercises are going ot be your friends - this is maybe one for the physio, cos you don't want to get chronic pain in the elbow!
  • AndsAnds Posts: 1,437
    Someone else suggested that it was tendonitis, but maybe it's not. I have tried using anti-imflammatory gel on it.

    I was taking the children swimming at my gym. As it was a family open day, there were a number of mini-challenges around the building. I was challeneged to see how long I could hold two 4kg kettlebells, arms outstretched to the side at shoulder height (wouldn't mind but when I eventually gave up, I had the worst score on the board!). I thought my kids would be impressed with my heroics! So no, it's not a repetitive use injury (unless I've done too much ironing. :lol: ).

    The next day, my elbow was really sore. There is no pain in the tricep. The main pain is when I grip, and even a little bit whilst typing this reply. It's also quite tender if you press it. I have stopped using light hand weights on my right arm as I was worried that it was exacerbating the problem. ps I was trying to be super-mum, not super dad :wink:
  • huuregeilhuuregeil Posts: 780
    Doh, super-mum, sorry! :-)

    Interesting injury! Which bit is tender, above or below the elbow, inside or out? I think I'd suggest complete rest for a few days, including from the bike if that's aggravating it, and see how it goes.
  • Sounds like a strain to your wrist extensors - google it. Go back to your PRICE regime, ice and anti inflammatories. Plus avoid positions that agg it, i.e. GRIP for the time being. Where abouts is your pain specifically? Is it on the outside or inside of your elbow?
  • ut_och_cyklaut_och_cykla Posts: 1,594
    It could well be tennis elbow/wrist extensor problem as suggested.

    See a physio, let him/her give it some ultrasound, get some advice about iceing frequently and some truly ridiculous massaging & stretching exercises which will probably make the neighbours think you've joined an extreme right wing party and be patient.

    But see somebody for a diagnosis soon - I went from a mornings tiling to almost useless right arm due to extreme inflammation in the wrist extensors - couldn't even peel spuds! But it did get better.... after several weeks.
  • AndsAnds Posts: 1,437
    Thanks for the replies. It's been over a month now and so far no improvment. I took 3 days off the bike this weekend in an attempt to give it some proper rest but it didn't make much difference. I went out today and have the same problem when trying to grip/squeeze my water bottle. (Also struggling to pick up things like heavy pans, etc so I have started to do as much as I can with my other hand)

    To try and describe the location of the pain: if my right arm was folded across my body, the elbow is tender to the touch on the front edge, where there is an indentation of soft tissue (where the humerus meets the ulna I guess). That is also where the most pain is when I grip something.
  • d87heavend87heaven Posts: 348
    Tendinosis can usually be found by pressing on the attachment area of the relevant tendon. It can often be a prickly feeling. Ice it to get the inflamation down then put some heat on it to get the blood flowing around it. Massage and stretch the muscle of the affected tendon.
    Its possible you may have strained the muscle and the scar tissue has built up putting extra tension on the tendon causing tendinosis. Or it could be a muscular strain, you would expect this to clear up reasonably well after a month. Other thing is it could be trigger points, massage the muscles in that area and see if you can feel any lumps and bumps(scar tissue will feel like going over bubble wrap).
    You could try going to see your GP. Ham it up and say its interfering in your work/home life. Don't tell them its sports related or they likely won't treat it. Its also likely he will prescribe NSAIDs and tell you to rest it.
    Weaseling out of things is important to learn. It's what separates us from the animals! Except the weasel
  • ut_och_cyklaut_och_cykla Posts: 1,594
    Ands wrote:
    Thanks for the replies. It's been over a month now and so far no improvment. I took 3 days off the bike this weekend in an attempt to give it some proper rest but it didn't make much difference. I went out today and have the same problem when trying to grip/squeeze my water bottle. (Also struggling to pick up things like heavy pans, etc so I have started to do as much as I can with my other hand)

    To try and describe the location of the pain: if my right arm was folded across my body, the elbow is tender to the touch on the front edge, where there is an indentation of soft tissue (where the humerus meets the ulna I guess). That is also where the most pain is when I grip something.

    That is exactly where I had pain and diagnosed as tennis elbow. See a physio. It will become chronic if you don't get it seen to. You probably find that doing heavy pans at full extension is almost impossible but if you bend your arm it gets easier. There are straps you can wear which press on the said area and aleviate the pain somewhat but my expereince was that they didn't improve healing. The only thing that worked was ice, self massage, weird stretching exercise & patience. BTW every time you use it and it hurts you are increasing inflammation and worsening the situation - acccording to the physio I saw.
  • AndsAnds Posts: 1,437
    Thanks guys. Been to doc who has diagnosed tennis elbow. She advised me to take ibuprofen, rest and also offered a steroid injection. I'm pondering over the injection. It is worse now than at any point in the last 4 weeks - pain is now going up to my shoulder and down to my wrists, and permanently aching, even when doing nothing. I couldn't even open a jar of jam this morning! Has anyone tried the steroid injection?
  • ut_och_cyklaut_och_cykla Posts: 1,594
    No steroid jab offered to me (not a guy BTW!). At risk of being boring - physio.

    Rest means do nothing that causes pain - the inflammation must go down before healing can take place. No jam jars, spud peeling,heavy saucepans or even perhaps cycling.

    Physio :)
  • AndsAnds Posts: 1,437
    No steroid jab offered to me (not a guy BTW!). At risk of being boring - physio.

    Rest means do nothing that causes pain - the inflammation must go down before healing can take place. No jam jars, spud peeling,heavy saucepans or even perhaps cycling.

    Physio :)
    I can live without peeling spuds, lifting pans etc.....it's not being able to use the hair straighteners that's really worrying me :lol:

    Got 2 weeks school holiday coming up - that usually kills cycling anyway. :(
  • d87heavend87heaven Posts: 348
    Ive had two steroid injections for inflamation in tendons but not for tennis elbow. Ultrasound guided injection is best as it can hit the exact spot of inflammation. There are drawbacks to them, thinking youve healed as the pain goes, no effect, cortisone flare, complete tendon rupture. Docs should give you a leaflet explaining the risks etc.
    Weaseling out of things is important to learn. It's what separates us from the animals! Except the weasel
  • I had exactly the same last year.

    Think mine was brought on by raking the lawn.

    Just don't do anything strenuous and use Voltarol gel as this has less(or no) ibuprofen in it which can bring on asthma.

    Just takes time i'm afraid,i just stopped sprinting and pulling hard on the bars too much.

    My tennis elbow does seem to have gone away/subsided now.
  • ClankClank Posts: 2,323
    If it's starting to affect your activities of dailty living some relif I found some relief by using an epiclasp band. They effectively work by shortening the working length of the enflamed tendons and taking the strain off the muscle instertion points at the elbow end. I've got the one that looks like a set of headphones for a cat. It wasn't cheap, but the benefit in easing strain on the tendon has been noticable (I can work!!).

    There's a few simple exercises that can ease troubles as well, but mostly physio is the way forward. In fact, pretty much what u_o_c has said already (but I find the clasp is helping)
    How would I write my own epitaph? With a crayon - I'm not allowed anything I can sharpen to a sustainable point.

    Disclaimer: Opinions expressed herein are worth exactly what you paid for them.
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